from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • interjection Used as a mild or ironic oath.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • interjection archaic An expression of surprise, shock etc.


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

[Perhaps alteration of God's hooks, the nails of the crucifixion of Jesus.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Contraction of God’s hooks, with reference to the nails of the crucifixion of Jesus.


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  • In addition, they considered the surprising success of Mr. Marmaduke Fennel's eighteenth-century story, For Love of a Lady, as compared with the more moderate sales of Miss Elspeth Lancaster's In Scarlet Sidon, that candid romance of the brothel; deducing therefrom that the "gadzooks" and "by'r lady" type of reading-matter was ready to revive in vogue.

    The Cream of the Jest: A Comedy of Evasions 1917

  • Isn't the lady writing, not in her original Bangla (red lines again!) or Bengali (better!) but – gadzooks – in English?

    A Bangladeshi Bluestocking 2009

  • The Mail On Sunday might be a sewer of sleaze and disreputable journalism, but gadzooks, it does have its uses sometimes..

    Mark Clarke: Womaniser and general bastard? 2008

  • This afternoon, two local Union 76/Conoco Phillips (gadzooks, these mergers make for long names) gas stations in my Los Angeles neighborhood posted the number I recently anticipated would be the price this summer: full serve 91-Octane (premium) gasoline: $4.99/gallon.

    Grain Market Manipulation = Petrofraud Redux 2008

  • The TZs are pronounced like the terminal ds in the word dads or like the dz in gadzooks.

    World's Best Tzatziki Sauce Recipe - Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce Kalyn Denny 2007

  • Hopefully by now you will be aware of my colleague Travis - gadzooks, he is Timothy Claypole, and he seems to have inherited some of his magical powers.

    Archive 2005-10-01 Kerron Cross 2005

  • And thy chiefest accomplishment is taking snuff with a bel air, patching, painting, powdering like a woman, and squeaking like an eunuch, gadzooks.

    The Beau Defeated: or, The Lucky Younger Brother 1999

  • "Have you, good master [gramercies, gadzooks, etc., according to taste], a couple of sugar figures in Spanish dress, each draped in a cloak?"

    From a Terrace in Prague Lieut.-Col. B. Granville Baker

  • A meal at the club, and gadzooks but his stomach was in arms!

    A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago Ben Hecht 1929

  • My engaging friend here has -- an I mistake not -- a passport ready for me in the pocket of his sable-hued coat, and as we are hoping effectually to spit one another over there ... gadzooks! but there's the specific purpose ....

    The Elusive Pimpernel Emmuska Orczy Orczy 1906


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  • God's hooks (referring, I think, to the nails in the cross)

    February 14, 2007

  • You know, this is just creepy. Why the hell would an Xtian want to use an epithet referring to the nails on the cross? Religious people are weird. Of course, that's assuming it was a Christian who came up with the phrase.

    July 20, 2007

  • I kinda doubt it was. Nonreligious people use religiously inspired slang all the time. Possibly just to annoy the religious people. ;-)

    July 20, 2007

  • Good heavens, you're right! ;-)

    July 20, 2007

  • I had always heard the 'hooks' were just old slang for 'hands.'

    October 6, 2010