Definitions

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

  • interjection Used to express mild surprise or delight.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • A minced oath, commonly in the phrase by gosh.

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

  • interjection euphemistic A mild expression of surprise or enthusiasm as to be put in place of “God”, particularly in fear of saying the Lord’s name in vain.

Etymologies

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

[Alteration of God.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Euphemism (or minced oath) for god. First seen in 1757 as by gosh, probably from by gosse in Udall's Ralph Roister Doister (c. 1553)

Examples

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