God knows

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God knows

  1. (now usually humorous) It is only known to God; i.e., it is unknown to people, no one knows, I don't know
    • 1837, Moses Stuart, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, 4th ed., 73
      ...Origen himself does not say this. His words are simply, "Who wrote it [i.e. penned it down], God knows, δὲ εἰς ἡμᾶς φθάσασα ἱστορία (hē dè eis hēmâs phthásasa historía), but a report has come to us, that it was either Clement or Luke."
    • 1995, Tom Gammill & al., Seinfeld, 7.10: "The Gum"
      So, you want my father to pay for this?
      You saw him. He was fiddling with the engine. God knows what he did there.
  2. (now usually humorous, often modifying a parenthetic concession) It is known unto God; i.e., it is certainly true, certainly, of course, obviously
    • 1700 August 8, Matthew Henry, "A Sermon Preached at the Opening of the New Meeting-House at Chester" in Misc. Works (1830), 1134
      ...those therefore that appeal to him upon every trivial occasion, and with a slightly superficial God knows, while they never think of God, nor have any regard to his knowledge, profane his name by taking it in vain...
    • 1984, Joseph Heller, God Knows, 8
      I have my faults, God knows, and I may even be among the first to admit them, but to this very day I know in my bones that I'm a much better person than He is.
    • 1992, Larry David, Seinfeld, 4.11: "The Contest"
      No, no, no. Don't do it. Don't do it! For my sake! God knows I don't ask you for much! Now, come on. Please, Jerry. Please! I'm beggin' ya! Please! Come on! Please!

Usage notes[edit]

In the sense "nobody knows", an interrogative pronoun often follows: God knows where, God knows why etc.

Alternative forms[edit]