Green’s Dictionary of Slang

gosh n.

a euph. for God; usu. in adj. compounds or excls.; see also below; cit. 1954 is a v. use meaning to say ‘gosh’.

[US]G.R. Chester Five Thousand an Hour Ch. xxii: ‘Glimmering gosh, Colonel!’ protested Val, as he hurried to pick up Gresham.
[US]M.E. Smith Adventures of a Boomer Op. 9: Honest to gosh, a Carnegie Library would sound like a boiler shop, compared to that town.
Laker Co. Times (Hammond, IN) 27 Mar. 4/4: ‘I haven’t seen a gold watch in gosh knows when’.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Dead Don’t Dream’ in Hollywood Detective July 🌐 And may Gosh help you if you refuse me that promised thousand hermans.
[US](con. 1910s) J. Thompson Heed the Thunder (1994) 103: He wished to gosh that someone would get murdered or something.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 50: I goshed. It had startled me not a little.
[UK]Guardian Guide 20–26 Nov. 36: Describing [...] their latest double bill as ‘two new gosh-outs’ offering ‘weird hyper dance’.
[US]J. Stahl OG Dad 128: Thank gosh, there’s plenty of local splendor to get worked up over, too.

In compounds

gosh-awful (adj.)

see separate entry.

gosh-damned (adj.) (also goshblamed, gosh-damn, gosh-dinged)

(US) a euph. used in excls. and mild oaths, lit. god-damned adj.

The ‘Put Me in My Little Bed’ Joker 5: I’ll be gosh blamed if you ain’t done enough for your country.
[US]Ballou’s Mthly 57 542/1: I a’n’t laughin’ at you, Miss Crimple; but it does seem too gosh-blamed ridickerlus fer ennything!
[UK]!Manchester Courier 16 June 10/2: Got to pay for it if it burns after midnight, have I? Not by a gosh-blamed sight!
[UK]Shields Dly Gaz. 2 Mar. 3/9: You want to keep mighty civil. Gosh-blamed shirk.
[US]Eve. Star (Wash., DC) 3 Sept. 55/3: Quit it ye pesky imp or I’ll tan yere gosh-dinged hide fer ye.
[US]J. London Smoke Bellew Pt 10 🌐 He’s a good actor – a gosh-blamed good actor.
[US]O.O. McIntyre New York Day by Day 11 Apr. [synd. col.] Springtime when the greatest shows on the whole goshdinged earth come to town.
W. Greene C. Potts 164: Well, I’ll be gosh-damned! ’scuse me, Mrs. Potter, but I never saw Neal Carver act that-a-way in all my life!
D.R. Kramer in Hinterland I n.p.: ‘I’ll be a gosh damned son of a bitch,’ he screamed.
[US]W.M. Raine Cool Customer 6: Struts like a goshdinged li’l bantam.
in C. Pollock Harvest of My Years 80: But think of the days I can’t write a gosh-damned word!
[US]Atlantic Monthly VICC 52/1: Gram would say, ‘The mountains are putting on their winter underwear,’ and shake her head and talk about the gosh-damned wind.
in B. Bernstein Thurber 102: They dont talk yet, but I’m so gosh damned sure they will.
[US]S. King Firestarter (1981) 158: Gosh-damn people coming on my land with guns. Gosh-damn bastards.
[US]S. King Dreamcatcher 413: It’s just so gosh-damn hot.
gosh-darn/-darned (adj.)

see separate entries.

gosh-dasted (n.)

(US) a euph. for god-damn v.; also as adj. and exc.

Railroad Telegrapher 16 792: I’ll be ‘gosh-dasted,’ as our friend Jim Parker says, if l can stand the street cars .
[US]Bee (Earlington, KY) 12 Nov. 4/4: ‘I’ve got you gosh-dasted tramps at last,’ said the farmer.
[US]Eve. World (NY) 3 June 18/3: Tell him that this gosh-dasted foolishness has got to stop.
Kentucky Irish American (Louisville, KY) 14 Aug. 1/2: Now they are being made monkeys of every day by a lot of ‘goshdasted’ crooks.
gosh-ding (v.) (also gosh-dang)

(US) a euph. for god-damn v.; also as adj. and excl.

[US]Yankee-notions 5:1-2 135/1: His feet were hopelessly fast [...] His face began to swell and redden like a turkey-gobbler’s. In vain he twisted and kicked [...] ‘Gosh dang the sterrup!’ exclaimed Sam.
[UK] ‘Gorton Town’ in R. Palmer Touch of the Times 68: Gosh, dang it, lads, I’m back again.
[US]Schele De Vere Americanisms 595: The Yankee is peculiarly fertile in variations on the name of God, and gives a striking proof of his ingenuity in inventing new forms for the forbidden I swear. He has his by Gorram, by Goldam, and by Goshdang, by the side of the English oath by Golly.
[US](con. 1860s) W. Goss Recollections of a Private 240: Gosh dang it, you tarnel fools!
[UK]Shields Dly Gaz. 2 Mar. 3/9: I don’t care a gosh-ding whether I would or not.
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.
[Can]R. Service ‘The Cow-Juice Cure’ in Rhymes of a Rolling Stone 55: Gosh ding my dasted eyes.
[US]J. Lait ‘The Septagon’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 15: Maybe Billings could find a story there. But Alec told himself that he would be good and gosh-danged if he could see two reels.
[UK]Wodehouse Leave it to Psmith (1993) 515: Gosh-dingit, you leave me a coupla days back saying you’re going to stick up this bozo.
[US]J. Thompson Pop. 1280 in Four Novels (1983) 444: How in the good gosh-dang do you get in these god-dang messes?
gosh-hang (v.)

(US) a euph. for god-damn v.

H. Hershfield Abie the Agent 29 Aug. [synd. cartoon strip] Gosh hang that guy Skinny anyway.

In exclamations

for gosh sake!

see separate entry.

gosh all hemlock! (also gosh all artichokes! gosh all buttonhooks! gosh all Potomac! gosh all fishhooks! gosh all Friday! gosh old hemlock!)

1. (US) a euph. for God almighty!

[US]Anti-Slavery Bugle (New Lisbon, OH) 27 Oct. 4/4: Gosh all artichokes! think I don’t know?
[US]Yankee-notions Jan. 5/1: ‘Gosh all Potomac!’ exclaimed our Yankee .
[US]Wkly Lancaster Gaz. (OH) 7 June 3/2: ‘Pay!’ said the youth [...] Gosh all artichokes! [...] ask a fellow to dinner, and then want pay for it.
[US]Harper’s New Mthly Mag. 16 766/2: His chair went over and threw him sprawling upon the floor. ‘Gosh all hemlock!’ he muttered.
J.T. Trowbridge Three Scouts xii 126: ‘Gosh all hemlock!’ broke forth Enos, ‘won’t ye never stop twittin’ a feller?’ .
[US]Rock Is. Argus (IL) 15 Nov.4/2: A November Blast. Blows, blows, blows — Gosh all hemlock how it blows.
[US]J.S. Wood Yale Yarns 39: ‘Gosh all hemlock!’ cried the farmer.
[US]Kinsley Graphic (KS) 4 Sept. 5/3: When it came to wild cats, why, gosh all hemlock, he was like a prophet of old!
H.P. Lewis Eb Peechcrap and Wife at the Fair 231: Gosh all fish-hooks! it must a tuck a pow’ful big hook an’ line tu cotch ’im.
Bismarck Dly Tribune (ND) 23 Aug. 8/2: A southerner was once heard to use in the course of a single discussion [...] ‘dog bite ’em,’ ‘gosh all fishhooks,’ ’dat rat ’em’ and ‘jumpin’ gee whiz’.
[US]S.F. Call 4 Oct. 1/2: Gosh all hemlock, I’ve been robbed. Where’s my $1000?
[US]T. McNamara Us Boys 23 Sept. [synd. cartoon strip] Gosh all button hooks. Everybody is on the job but old Eaglebeakie.
[US]T.A. Dorgan Indoor Sports 9 June [synd. cartoon] Gosh all Friday why should I get the gate — I was only there two weeks.
[US]S. Lewis Main Street (1921) 216: Gosh all hemlock! What the dickens is all this stuff about, Carrie?
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 278: I know, but gosh all fishhooks, that’s the trouble with women!
[US](con. 1900s) S. Lewis Elmer Gantry 231: Gosh all fishhooks! They’re waiting for you!
B.S. Aldrich A White Bird Flying (1988) 171: Why, gosh all hemlock, — this time, he was not just remembering the old days. He was living them.
[Scot]Dundee Eve. Teleg. 13 May 9/2: They’re waiting for us — right in there? [...] Gosh all hemlock, how d’you know?
M. Walker Quarry 62: ‘Gosh all hemlock!’ he muttered under his breath as he walked along. ‘Gosh all hemlock!’.
[US]J. Stuart Hie to the Hunters 257: Gosh-old-hemlock, that smells good.
[US]Mad mag. Jul.–Aug. 15: Gosh all hemlock, Mr Science! I sure hope so!

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

[US]E. Nye Forty Liars (1888) 141: Followed by the most jewhillikin gosh-all-hemlock exposition of camels with twisted tails, wappy-jawed giraffes and speckled hyenas.
[US]E. Field ‘Marthy’s Younkit’ Little Bk of Western Verse 174: She marr’d Sorry Tom, wich owned the Gosh-all-Hemlock mine!
gosh-almighty! (also gosh-a-mighty! for gosh-amighty sake!)

a euph. excl., lit. God almighty!

[US]Boston Transcript 15 Feb. 1/1: Oh, gosh-a-mighty! trike a poor black fellow on de shin! [DA].
[US]R.J. Fry Salvation of Jemmy Sl. I i: Gosh a’ mighty, it’s swell to be a butler for a bunch of highbrows.
[US]Herschel Brown ‘Talking Blues No. 2’ (in Tosches 2001) n.p.: In her nighties; she stood between me and the light, and good gosh almighty.
[Aus]E. Curry Hysterical Hist. of Aus. 50: For goshamighty sake let me have some free settlers.