Green’s Dictionary of Slang

damn v.

also dam, dom
[SE damn, to send to hell; the term is not sl. per se, but as cited by the OED is ‘used profanely’ and (in late 19C and beyond, still often found as d--n or even d---); thus it qualifies]

1. an all-purpose profanity, used in a wide variety of contexts.

[UK]Jonson Every Man Out of his Humour IV iv: O, d--n me! immortality!
[UK]Wily Beguiled 31: Nay, Damne me if I be: / By heavens, sweet Nymph I am not.
[UK]Webster Duchess of Malfi IV i: Damn her!
[UK]Dryden An Evening’s Love II i: Damn him, let’s fall on then.
[UK]The Woman Turn’d Bully I ii: If you have to do with a Coachman or a Mechanick, you must be at it with Damn me ye Son of a Tinker.
[Ire]Head The Art of Wheedling 202: He swears dam him.
[UK]Otway The Soldier’s Fortune III i: Damn her! I shall never enjoy her without ravishing.
[UK]S. Centlivre Wonder! V ii: Damn your pipe, Sir. I won’t smoke, I hate tobacco.
[UK]C. Walker Authentick Memoirs of Sally Salisbury 12: D--n you for a Pimp.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c 346: D--n you, said he.
[UK]Ordinary of Newgate His Account 22 Nov. 18/1: Damn you, what ails you, you have no Mind to get Money?
[UK]Smollett Peregrine Pickle (1964) 30: D---n ye, ye jury-legged dog, you would give all the stowage in your hold to be as sound as I am.
[UK]Proceedings Old Bailey 6 July 246/1: D – n you, Green, where is your powder and ball.
[UK]Sheridan The Rivals (1776) I i: But d--m the place, I’m tired of it.
[Ire] ‘The Proker’ Songs (publ. Newry) 7: D--n you, you Bitch.
[UK]Observer 4 Dec. 3: Why, d--- me, almost the whole of his property is a Coal mine.
J. Gillray Lilliputian Substitutes, Equipping for Public Service (cartoon) 28 May : Ah, Damn his narrow pumps! I shall never be able to bear them long on my Corns!
[Ire]Spirit of Irish Wit 117: ‘D—n your blood, do you mean to gibbet me in a jest book? [...] be d—d to you’.
[UK]Last Act in New British Theatre II iii: Damn Shakespeare!
‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London 1 385: D---n me if I would give a pair of crazy crabshells without vamp or whelt for the whole boiling of ’em—there is not one of ’em worth a bloody jemmy.
[UK]Mr Mathews’ Comic Annual 23: I’m the lad – the fancy chap – the knowing one – damme pipps! I’m known by the cognomen of Jack Shepherd or Sixteen String Jack damme pipps. I’m rumpty tum with the chill off, dam’me pipps!
[UK]R. Nicholson Cockney Adventures 9 Dec. 48: D--n me, Ned, I wish you’d blackened t’other eye for him, the scamp.
[UK]D. Boucicault London Assurance Act II: sir harcourt: Oh, damn Jenks! meddle: Sir, thank you. Damn him again, sir, damn him again.
[US]‘Ned Buntline’ G’hals of N.Y. 200: D---n the fellow!
[UK]R.S. Surtees Ask Mamma 242: ‘Dom you and your b-a-r-r-n!’ he exclaimed.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor III 350/1: I’ve heard my father and his mates say many a time, ‘D--n Pitt!’.
[UK]Manchester Eve. News 17 Apr. 4/3: Damn her skin, whoever she is!
[UK]M.E. Braddon Mohawks III 105: Damn the world!
[US]Flynt & Walton The Powers That Prey 172: I don’t want to hear a word about difficulties. Damn the difficulties.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard An Enemy to Society 20: Damn you, I hate you all!
[UK]E. Pound letter 21 July in Read Letters to James Joyce (1968) 31: I can send the two poems to that Chicago rag if you can stand it. They pay, dammm ’em.
[UK]Wodehouse Carry on, Jeeves 3: [He] said ‘Eggs! Eggs! Eggs! Damn all eggs!’ in an overwrought sort of voice.
[US]H. McCoy They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? in Four Novels (1983) 7: Damn that bus.
[UK]S. Berkoff Decadence in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 15: Damn me if the blighter didn’t just go and buy a bloody new one.

2. as past participle of sense 1; usu. as damned if... or damned (cf. I’ll be damned! ).

[UK]Female Wits in Morgan Female Wits (1981) III i: Dinner be damned! I’ll never eat more.
[UK]Smollett Roderick Random (1979) 157: You and your list may be d--n’d, (said the captain, throwing it at him) I say, there shall be no sick in this ship.
[UK]Bath Chron. 19 Sept. 2/2: He resolutely struck the pistol aside, and bid him shoot and be d—n’d.
P. Freneau ‘Shelburne Threat’ in Hiltner Newspaper Verse (1986) 428: May I be d---d, (this dreadful oath he swore, / And stamp’d indignant on his cabin floor) [...] Starve and be d---d shall be the word.
[UK]Westmoreland Gaz. 20 Oct. 1/4: As to the coppers, you may give ’em to her [...] to buy gin, and be d—d to her.
[UK]Nottingham Rev. 7 Aug. 2/4: ‘Oh be d—d! I shall not give you more thanb another sovereign’.
[Aus]‘ Week in Oxford’ in Bell’s Life in Sydney 8 Nov. 4/1: The other [freshman], still more plucky, said, ‘I don’t come out to be damned.’ ‘Then go home and be damned,’ rejoined the son of Nimrod.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Ask Mamma 226: I’ll mount you on the Tuesday – dom’d if I won’t – and that’ll make it all right.
[UK]H. Kingsley Recollections of G. Hamlyn (1891) 25: Why the devil do you bring me out here in the middle of the moor? [...] D----d if I understand it.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 249/2: Authorised be d---d!
[US]H.L. Williams Black-Eyed Beauty 42: D----- if I wouldn’t look at him all night if he’d money out for me!
[UK]G. du Maurier Trilby 338: Twelfth-century dukedoms be damned!
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Babies in the Bush’ in Roderick (1972) 404: ‘They don’t matter much, do they, Jack?’ ‘Damned if I think they do, Boss.’.
[Aus]J. Furphy Such is Life 143: D---d if I know whether I got any.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 280: I was just passing the time of day with old Troy of the D. M. P. at the corner of Arbour hill there and be damned but a bloody sweep came along and he near drove his gear in my eye.
[US]R. Fisher Walls Of Jericho 233: ‘You better go see a doctor and make sure you’re all right.’ Damned if he would.
[US]D. Hammett ‘A Man Called Spade’ Nightmare Town (2001) 302: ‘Let’s look you over for scratches.’ [...] ‘Damned if you will!’.
[Can]M. de la Roche Whiteoak Heritage (1949) 61: ‘Mrs. Clinch doesn’t like it.’ ‘Mrs. Clinch be damned.’.
[US]W.P. McGivern Big Heat 37: ‘When did she leave?’ ‘Damned if I know, Sergeant.’.
[UK]R. Cook Crust on its Uppers 115: Damned if I wanter go out.
[US](con. 1969) M. Herr Dispatches 26: He goes up there himself and damned if the fucker didn’t get zapped.
[US]J. Wambaugh Glitter Dome (1982) 197: ‘What do they cost?’ ‘Damned if I know.’.

In phrases

as be damned (adv.)

a general intensifier, extremely, very, to a great extent.

[US]Durivage & Burnham Stray Subjects (1848) 30: She’s as sober as be d---d’ when she gets the shop – that’s what I call the hearse – behind her.
Kipling ‘Only a Subaltern’ in Under the Deodars 111: ‘But they were as fit as be-damned when I left them!’ said Bobby. ‘Then you'd better make them as fit as bedamned when you rejoin,’ said the Major brutally.
Cheltenham Looker-On 23 Mar. 4/3: He [...] was as a calm as bedamned.
Best Plays of 1927 9 378: Corporal Stoddart — Whoy the ’ell did she gow to the window! Is she dead? Sergeant Tinley — Ow, dead as bedamned.
[UK]Hartlepool Mail 1 Aug. 2/4: ‘Then may I ask,’ says he, as polite as be-damned , ‘who has them?’.
H. Lamb Garden to Eastward 185: You're fit as bedamned. Have you lost the dark fetches that came by you?
N. Fitzgerald Midsummer Malice 139: He is as mean as bedamned over little things, but when something serious happens he is like the old Timmy.
E. Cross Tailor & Ansty 90: We had songs and recitations, and all was going as well as bedamned until one fellow started to take a sup out of Kruger’s share of the drink.
[Ire]H. Leonard A Life (1981) Act I: You’re as prickly as bedamned: it’s like talking to a gorse bush.
damn-your-eyes (adj.) (also damn-my-eyes)


[UK]London Dly News 18 Feb. 7/4: Thou, Westminster’s darling! — who once used to utter short damn-your-eyes speeches.
[US](con. 1843) Melville White-Jacket (1990) 312: What man-of-war’s-men call a damn-my-eyes-tar, that is, a humbug. And many damn-my-eyes humbugs there are in this man-of-war world of ours.
[US]A.J. Boyd Shellback 16: I ought to be marled in a blue coat [...] with a tall complexioned hat and a ‘d--n my eyes’ necktie.
[US]S.F. Call 22 June 6/4: An’ the rest o’ the trip, dammy eyes, if I don’t let him slap around wit’ a lightweight paint-brush.
[UK]E. Raymond Tell England (1965) 158: He made a peculiarly effective exit, his hat tilted at what he called a ‘damn-your-eyes’ angle.
[Ire](con. 1930s) N. Conway Bloods 67: Building up a damn-your-eyes attitude towards any enemy who might come their way.

In exclamations

damn (someone’s) eyes!

an excl. of irritation, impatience, annoyance etc., also used attrib.

[UK]Proceedings Old Bailey 6 Sept. 216/1: Damn your Eyes, says he, what Money have you about you?
[UK]Fielding Life of Jonathan Wild (1784) I 131: D--n your eyes, if this be your way of shewing your love.
[UK]Smollett Peregrine Pickle (1964) 9: If so be, as this be the case, there is a rotten plank in our constitution, which ought to be hove down and repaired, damn my eyes!
[Scot]Scots Mag. 6 June 39/2: ‘D—n my eyes and limbs, bit here I’ll have a double pot of beer’.
[UK]Proceedings Old Bailey 6 July 251/2: He called, d—n his eyes, I have him now, and fired his piece at him.
[UK]Smollett Humphrey Clinker (1925) I 197: D--n my eyes! there will be nothing but snivelling in the cart.
[UK]Proceedings Old Bailey 25 Apr. 245/2: He swore, D – n his eyes, he would take it, for there might be money in it.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Aug. IV 270/1: D---n my eyes, you may do what you please with the leg.
[UK]J. Mackcoull Abuses of Justice 30: Damn your eyes, you bloody thief.
[UK]‘Thomas Brown’ The Fudge Family in Paris in Poetical Works Letter VIII 154: D---n my eyes.
[UK] ‘Jacko and Judas’ Slops Shave at a Broken Hone 21: Off, Johnny Raw! off, lubber! d---n my eyes.
[UK] ‘Going To Be Confirmed’ Luscious Songster 13: My mother declares, d--m her eyes, it’s no farce.
[US]N. Ames ‘Morton’ An Old Sailor’s Yarns 308: Here he is, d--n his eyes!
[UK] ‘She Sleeps With A Tall Grenadier’ The Gentleman’s Spicey Songster 23: It’s too bad, if it a’nt d--m my eyes.
[Aus]Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 4 Feb. 2/1: D—n your eyes if you don’t pack that wood I’ll break your b—y neck.
[UK]Hertford Mercury & Reformer 9 Jan. 3/3: I heard Cornelius say to the other [...] ‘D— your eyes, stand still’.
[US]Melville Moby Dick (1907) 215: Damn your eyes! what’s that pump stopping for?
[US]Green Mountain Freeman (Montpelier, VT) 2 Feb. 1/3: D—n my eyes! must I bear this?
[UK]J. Greenwood Seven Curses of London 291: D--- your eyes, let us have some more gin!
[US]F.H. Sheppard Love Afloat 186: D--n my eyes, you ought to be squeezed!
[UK]Newcastle Courant 16 Sept. 6/5: D— you eyes, why don’t you mind where you’re tearing to.
[UK]Sporting Times 1 Jan. 1/3: Peter exploded with: ‘Damn your eyes!’.
[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 47: My name it is Sam Hall, chimney sweep, (2) / My name it is Sam Hall, and I tell you one and all / That you’re buggers great and small. / Damn your eyes.
[Ire]Joyce Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 92: Will you tell Doyle with my best compliments that I damned his eyes? answered Heron.
[US]S. Stewart ‘The Contract of Corporal Twing’ in O’Brien & Cournos Best Short Stories 336: ‘Damn your eyes then!’ a boyish voice sounded above the clatter of feet.
[UK]W. Watson Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (2000) 178: ‘I went to a doctor,’ said Rosie gloomily. ‘Damn his eyes. White meat. Chicken! I ask you?’.
[UK]Yorks. Post 12 Sept. 5/1: Mr Churchill’s statement [was] described as truculent, swash-buckling and damn-your-eyes in tone.
[US]S.J. Perelman ‘If An In-Law Meet An Outlaw’ in Keep It Crisp 156: Damn my eyes, sir, she was as pretty as a peony.
[Aus](con. 1936–46) K.S. Prichard Winged Seeds (1984) 54: ‘Damn his eyes,’ he said, with suitable indignation.
[US]J.D. MacDonald All These Condemned (2001) 138: And, damn her eyes, she’s picked that one thing to work on.
[US] ‘Sam Hall’ in O. Brand Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads 47: He looked so bloody glum as he talked of Kingdom Come. / He can kiss my ruddy bum, damn his eyes.
[UK]P. Theroux Picture Palace 244: You’re the one who ruined me, damn your eyes.
[Aus](con. 1940s–60s) Hogbotel & ffuckes ‘Sammy Hall’ in More Snatches and Lays 39: My name is Sammy Hall, and I’ve only got one ball – / But it’s better than none at all / Damn your eyes, blast your soul.
[UK](con. 1860s) P. Ackroyd Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem 175: So I spit on all your prayers / Damn your eyes.
I’ll be damned! (also damnify! I’ll be damn! I’ll be double damned! I’m damned!)

an excl. of annoyance, surprise, irritation etc.

[UK]Ipswich Jrnl 23 Nov. 2/1: But the fellow, so far from thanking him, said ‘Let her sink and be damn’d if she will’.
[UK]Smollett Peregrine Pickle (1964) 246: The voice of Tom Pipes, pronouncing ‘I’ll be damned if I do’.
Sheridan A Trip to Scarborough I ii: Why, then, my Lord, if those shoes pinch you, I’ll be d--n’d.
[UK]‘T.B. Junr.’ Pettyfogger Dramatized I i: I’ll be damn’d, my dear Bobby, if I have not parted with the last shilling.
[Ire]‘A Real Paddy’ Real Life in Ireland 170: I’ll be damned if I care.
[US]J.K. Paulding Westward Ho! I 45: No, I’ll be damned if I do!
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker (1843) I 57: I’ll be d---d, said he, if ever I saw a Yankee that didn’t bolt his food.
[UK]R. Nicholson Cockney Adventures 16 Dec. 52: I’m d----d if it an’t one of them flats we had a lark with in the gardens.
[UK]Odd Fellow (London) 18 Sept. 1/4: I’ll have it out of him; I’m d—d if I don’t.
Worcester Chron. 17 Oct. 4/4: M. Renaud asked him [...] if he would sign the cheque [...] he said, ’I’ll be damned!’.
[US]M. Griffith Autobiog. of a Female Slave 169: No, I be d----d if you shall, you rascally free nigger.
[US] ‘Scolding Wife’ Bob Smith’s Clown Song and Joke Bk 45: Says she, ‘you must father these two little dears,’ / But says I, ‘I’ll be damned if I do’.
[US]N.Y. World in Asbury Gangs of N.Y. 61: Kit said, ‘I’m damned if some of the people that come here oughtn’t to be clubbed [...] I must be damned good looking to have so many fine fellows looking at me.’.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Roughing It 45: ‘Well, if that don’t go clean ahead of me, I’m d---d!’.
[US]Chicago Trib. 13 Sept. 3/1: ‘I’ll be d—d if I don’t believe it’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 17 Jan. 13/4: But when the P.M. informed the Court that the fine would be 5s. or in default two hours in the public stocks, Sun Chong planked down the cash, and [...] yelled out: ‘Well, I’m d---d!
[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) III 529: My blood rose, I’d be damned if I would.
[UK]Binstead & Wells A Pink ’un and a Pelican 161: ‘Well, I’m d------d!’ he cried, ‘Jim Fletcher!’.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ In Bad Company 13: Well, I’m d---d!
[Scot]‘Ian Hay’ Lighter Side of School Life 102: I’ll be damned if I take it lying down!
[UK]T. Norman Penny Showman 21: I’ll be damned if you hadn’t got two large rings on each hand on the outside of your gloves.
[UK]G.D.H. & M. Cole Brooklyn Murders (1933) 59: I tell you I’m damned if I’ll stand it.
[US]C. Coe Me – Gangster 77: I’ll be double damned if I’ll have your bum pugs creepin’ around here.
[US]W.R. Burnett Iron Man 247: ‘Well, I’ll be damned,’ said Coke.
[US] G.S. Schuyler Black No More (1971) 71: Damnify could ever understand how such ignorant people get a-hold of th’ money.
[US]‘F. Bonnamy’ A Rope of Sand (1947) 142: ‘I’ll be double damned’, I said aloud.
[UK]C. Day Lewis Otterbury Incident 60: ‘Well, I’ll be damned!’ exclaimed Rickie.
[US]D. Dodge Bullets For The Bridegroom (1953) 18: And I’m damned if I can see what business it is of yours or anyone else’s.
[US]M. Spillane Long Wait (1954) 38: I’ll be damned! I’ll be good and goddamned!
[US]H. Simmons Corner Boy 92: Well, I’ll be damn.
[Aus](con. 1944) L. Glassop Rats in New Guinea 41: Well, I’ll be damned.
[US]B. Hecht Gaily, Gaily 44: I’ll be Goddamned. That was Gus Plotka on the deathwatch. He says Fred Ludwig wants to confess. [Ibid.] 152: ‘I’ll be damned,’ said Mr. Mahoney.
[US]C. Hiaasen Tourist Season (1987) 143: ‘I’ll be damned, a cover-up!’ Wiley exclaimed.
[US]C. Hiaasen Lucky You 329: ‘I’ll be damned,’ he said.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 225: He passed the second patrol car and wrecker and stopped. saying, I’ll be damned.