zounds

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See also: 'zounds

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Abbreviation of God's wounds, with reference to the wounds from Christ's crucifixion. Compare strewth, blimey, gadzooks, 'sblood, crikey.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /zuːndz/, /zaʊndz/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːndz, -aʊndz

Interjection[edit]

zounds

  1. (minced oath, chiefly dated) Expressing anger, surprise, assertion etc.
    • c. 1591–1595, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      'Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat, to scratch a man to death!
    • 1870, R.M. Ballantyne, "The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands"
      Bounds, mounds, lounds, founds, kounds, downds, rounds, pounds, zounds! — hounds — ha! hounds — I have it.
    • 1900, J.C. Hutcheson, "Bob Strong's Holidays"
      "Zounds!" he exclaimed. "What the dickens is that?"

Alternative forms[edit]

Synonyms[edit]