From Middle English phrase God spede (“may God cause you to succeed”), from God (“God”) + spede, singular subjunctive of speden (“to prosper”), from Old English spēdan, from spēd (“success”) (see speed).
- An expression of goodwill when addressing someone, typically someone about to start a journey or a daring endeavor.
1678, John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress:
- Evangelist, after he had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bid him God-speed.
1848, Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall:
- "I'm wishing you God-speed, Hattersley," cried Arthur, "and aiding you with my prayers."
1879, Henry James, Roderick Hudson:
- Rowland at the garden gate was giving his hostess Godspeed on her way to church.
1914, James Joyce, Dubliners:
- Eight years before he had seen his friend off at the North Wall and wished him God-speed.
1962 February 20, Scott Carpenter,:
- Godspeed, John Glenn.
an expression of goodwill