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Alternative forms[edit]


A minced oath from alteration of by God.




  1. (dated, Ireland, now literary) Alternative form of by God
    • 1850 June, Bill Malowney's Taste of Love and Glory, The Dublin University Magazine: A Literary and Political Journal, Volume 35: January—June 1850, page 698,
      But, begorra, whin they seen it was raly Bill Malowney himself that was in it, it was only who'd be foremost out agin, tumblin' backways, one over another, and his raverence roarin' an' cursin' them like mad for not waitin' for him.
    • 1902, University of Michigan, The Wolverine, Volume 2, Issue 12, page 18,
      Begorra, an' 'twas th' foinest sight yez niver saw to' see th' refor-rumed naughty-twos mate their dear lovin' home-definder, Carrie Nation.
    • 1992 April 26, "Hot Off the Press" Jeeves and Wooster, Series 3, Episode 5:
      A. Fink-Nottle: But it's absolute balderdash, Bertie. I mean, listen to this: "Sure and begorra, I don't know what's after being the matter with you, Michael." I mean, what on earth is this "what's after being" stuff mean?
      B.W. Wooster: My dear old Gussie, that is how people think Irish people talk.
    • 2009, Patti B. Pruitt, Spring Break with Paddy O'Rourke, Book II, page 28,
      Sure and begorra, 'twas the second time I lost me balance and fell into yer drink.

Usage notes[edit]

Often used in the phrase sure and begorra and frequently used in English as a stereotypical example of colloquial Irish speech.


Derived terms[edit]