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From heaven (“abode of God”) + forfend (“to avert; to forbid, prohibit”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌhɛvn̩ fɔːˈfɛnd/, /-fə-/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌhɛv(ə)n fɔɹˈfɛnd/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛnd
- Hyphenation: heav‧en for‧fend
- (dated or humorous) Used to express that one hopes that something does not happen: God forbid, heaven forbid.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:God forbid
- 1990, Sam Simon and John Swartzwelder, “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish”, in The Simpsons:
- Advisor: The voters now see you as imperial and god-like. Burns: Hot dog! Advisor: But there's a down-side to it. The latest polls indicate you're in danger of losing touch with the common man. Burns: Oh, dear! Heaven forfend!
- 2007 November 23, Scott Murray, “Why England’s failure is good news for, er, England”, in Alan Rusbridger, editor, The Guardian, London: Guardian News & Media, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 6 October 2014:
- Now there's an opportunity to employ a man who, heaven forfend, actually thinks about tactics and team balance.
- The term is often used with irony, or in a tongue in cheek manner.
used to express that one hopes that something does not happen