for goodness' sake

EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

A euphemistic replacement of "God" in for God's sake.

PronunciationEdit

Prepositional phraseEdit

for goodness' sake

  1. (idiomatic, euphemistic) Used to express frustration, exasperation, annoyance.
    For goodness' sake, get off the computer! You've been on there for ages!
    • 2015 April 28, Tracey Spicer, “Taming tiny terrors: How to have a happy family holiday”, in The Press:
      You're 47, for goodness' sake. Too old for this!
    • 2017 May 1, Dana Johannsen, “What happens when you watch six hours of ANZ Premiership netball?”, in New Zealand Herald:
      She's 1.98m for goodness sake! How can you not find her!?
  2. (idiomatic, euphemistic) Used to express surprise or amazement.
    For goodness' sake, I spelled that word correctly. I never knew I could do that.
    • 1921, Printers' Ink Monthly - Volumes 3-4, page 42:
      No salesman is ever a bore if he can make us throw up our hands and say, "Well, for goodness' sake! What do you know about that ?" Yes, surprise is the thing.
    • 2008, Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe, →ISBN:
      For goodness' sake,” Einstein exclaimed. “So that was the famous caviar!" He paused for a moment, then added, "Well, if you offer gourmet food to peasants like me, you know they won't appreciate it."
    • 2014, Louise Millar, The Hidden Girl: A Novel, →ISBN, page 179:
      For goodness' sake, we go to Spain for a week and get new next-door neighbors! How lovely!
    • 2016 November 24, Te Ahua Maitland, “Woman celebrating 100th birthday receives 50 double-ups on cards”, in The Southland Times:
      I thought, for goodness' sake, fancy them being the same!
  3. (idiomatic, euphemistic) Used for emphasis
    • 1888, Harrison and Morton, The Tippecanoe Campaign Songster:
      They'll try all they can to deceive and to cheat, But for goodness sake don't say I told you.
    • 2012 -, Hazel Holt, No Cure for Death, →ISBN:
      Well, for goodness sake let me know if I can do anything.
    • 2013 August 26, Bryony Gordon, “I am not normally a stickler for tradition – I had a baby out of wedlock, for goodness sake”, in The Telegraph:
      I am not normally a stickler for tradition – I had a baby out of wedlock, for goodness sake – but for some reason I want Harry to be my husband.
    • 2017 May 9, “Time for former champions to start again”, in Taranaki Daily News:
      But for goodness sake, please review the plan and come up with detail that distinguishes each groups cultural identity and is something that the players can own.
    • 2017 May 14, Susan Estrich, “Mothers and memories”, in The Exponent Telegram:
      These young women are busy, for goodness' sake, tired and overworked, stressed, trying to find time for themselves in days that have too little.

SynonymsEdit