by Jupiter



From Latin pro Iuppiter. Ellipsis of a full oath of the form "I swear by Jupiter that…". Originally a literal oath; later a minced oath.


by Jupiter

  1. (obsolete, Classics) Invocation of the Roman god Jupiter.
    • 1820, Mitchell, Thomas, transl., “The Clouds”, in The Comedies of Aristophanes, volume 1, translation of Νεφέλαι Nephelai by Aristophanes, page 91:
      I see how it is with you. You are mad, / Stark mad, by Jupiter!
  2. (dated, chiefly British) Minced oath for by God.
    • c. 1603–1606, Shakespeare, William, King Lear, act 1, scene 1, lines 178–179:
      Away! By Jupiter, / This shall not be revoked!
    • 1874 September 1, Burnett, Fannie Hodgson, “Pretty Polly Pemberton”, in Peterson's Magazine, volume 66, number 3, page 180:
      "By Jupiter!" employing his usual mild expletive, "look here, old fellow, had she a white dress on, and geranium-colored bows, and—"


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