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From Middle English beschrewen (to curse, pervert), equivalent to be- +‎ shrew.


beshrew (third-person singular simple present beshrews, present participle beshrewing, simple past and past participle beshrewed)

  1. (transitive, archaic) To invoke or wish evil upon; to curse.
    • 1598?, William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona,Act I, scene I:
      Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.
    • 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter XII, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, OCLC 1227855:
      I had expected to freeze her young – or, rather, middle-aged – blood and have her perm stand on end like quills upon the fretful porpentine, and she hadn't moved a muscle. “Beshrew me,” I said, “you take it pretty calmly.”
  2. (transitive) A mildly imprecatory or merely expletive introductory exclamation, in the form of the imperative.
    • Shakespeare
      Beshrew your heart, fair daughter!
    • 1883, Howard Pyle, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood Chapter V
      "Now, beshrew his heart," quoth jolly Robin, "that would deny a butcher. And, moreover, I will go dine with you all, my sweet lads, and that as fast as I can hie." Whereupon, having sold all his meat, he closed his stall and went with them to the great Guild Hall.