Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • interj. Used to express anger, surprise, or indignation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • interj. Expressing anger, surprise, assertion etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • interj. An exclamation formerly used as an oath, and an expression of anger or wonder.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An exclamation formerly used as an oath or as an expression of anger or wonder.

Etymologies

Shortening and alteration of God's wounds!.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Abbreviation of God's wounds, with reference to Christ's wounds before the crucifixion. Compare strewth, blimey, gadzooks, 'sblood. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "I had noticed a strange apparition there and hoped to see it again--a tall woman sitting alone, dressed in what I took to be the height of fashion. One day she reappeared. She wore a hat resembling a nest on which an exotic bird was resting, and an elaborate dress of what I think used to be called 'changeable satin,' blues and greens of a peacock's feathers intermingling. Before eating it was necessary that she remove her gloves and raise her veil with gestures of apparently uncalculated grace. Zounds! What was this?"

    --Theophilus North by Thornton Wilder

    September 4, 2010

  • Compare Oons (also God's wounds)

    October 11, 2007

  • And how about bloody (thought to have come from "by Our Lady")?

    July 19, 2007

  • Compare crikey ("Christ kill me") and blimey ("God blind me"). I forgot about this one tho.

    July 19, 2007

  • God's wounds!

    February 14, 2007