Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Tue Oct 23 15:20:14 UTC 2012

I'm not Joel, but I wonder if "by gad" (OED, early 17th century) or "gads me" (OED, later 17th century) would count as "minced oaths."


From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Jonathan Lighter [wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 10:38 AM

Joel, do any of your 18th  C. Puritan buddies use minced oaths like "Jiminy
Crickets!" and "Doggone it!"

Such oaths aren't much in evidence till well into the 19th C., but the same
historian friend had "read somewhere" that they were created as euphemisms
by the Puritans.  (He's a political, not a linguistic, historian.)

Sounds plausible (always a danger signal)  but the gap in attestation is
more than considerable. Also, the Puritan population may have been too
small and too localized to sustain much of a repertoire.


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