for goodness' sakes

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Prepositional phrase[edit]

for goodness' sakes

  1. (idiomatic, euphemistic) Used to express frustration, exasperation, annoyance.
    • 1928, Fannie Hurst, A President is Born, page 23:
      'For goodness' sakes, Father,' cried Emma, the bright tears in her eyes drying because her eyeballs were so hot and angry, 'for goodness' sakes, Father, the idea of acting - so - horrid.
    • 1991, John S. Applegate, Thy Kingdom Come: Tales of a Small-Town Lawyer, →ISBN, page 169:
      "Didn't you talk to her, for goodness sakes? Just what have you been doing in there for the past hour?"
    • 2000, Parnell Hall, A Clue for the Puzzle Lady, →ISBN, page 272:
      "Oh, for goodness sakes. At least can you tell me if she's there?"
    • 2014, Anne McCullagh Rennie, Reach for the Dream, →ISBN:
      'For goodness sakes, Ray,' Aunty Bea exclaimed exasperated, 'haven't you noticed the state of your niece?'
  2. (idiomatic, euphemistic) Used for emphasis.
    • 1994, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, page 769:
      Learn to play a reed instrument; do not borrow money; do not lend money; do not make money — [laughter] — and for goodness sakes, do not lose money.
    • 2004, United States Congress Senate Committee on Finance, Examination of proposals for economic growth and job creation:
      The most important thing that I would say to you, is as you develop those priorities, for goodness sakes, also take the time to think about the future and the burden that we are going to put on future generations by what you do today.
    • 2010, Julie Christensen, Searching For Meredith Love, →ISBN:
      They finished each other's sentences, for goodness sakes!
    • 2012, Andrea Edwards, Secret Agent Groom, →ISBN:
      He was an undercover agent, for goodness sakes. Once a job was done, of course he would move on.
  3. (idiomatic, euphemistic) Used to express surprise or amazement.
    • 1943, Estelle Schrott, Heaven is for the Angels, page 352:
      For goodness' sakes!" Fannie broke out in surprise when she saw Molly there. "For goodness' sakes! Where you been hiding these days?"
    • 2002, Spotlight Grade 1 Songs and Stories, →ISBN, page 10:
      Surprise, surprise, do you believe your eyes? Well for goodness sakes, that takes the cake.
    • 2005, Wallace J. Gordon, One Day in Paris, →ISBN:
      "For goodness sakes — " she repeated. Now she was just surprised.

Synonyms[edit]