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FSF - What in Tarnation

 

 

WHAT IN TARNATION

When your tractor breaks down, you may wonder what in tarnation you did to deserve it!

I first heard this saying from an Uncle while visiting his farm. As I child I didn't know the meaning, maybe I even thought he made it up. Today this wouldn't be considered swearing, but in the past minced oath's were more common.

Meaning: An alteration of darnation, euphemism for damnation

Origins: Dates back to 1790, another source says it has been used in New England since colonial times and it is "a suphemism for damnation! or damn!. The best guess is that it derives from the English 'tarnal!' which itself derives from the mild interjection 'eternal!'" From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

Minced oaths are a sub-group of euphemisms used to avoid swearing when expressing surprise or annoyance. If you hit your thumb with a hammer when great aunt Edith is in the room what do you say? It's probably going to be a minced oath. They are usually, although not exclusively, religious in nature and date from the days when it wasn't acceptable to use the name of God, Jesus or other religious notables in everyday speech. To mince your words, or mince matters, means to choose words so as not to offend anyone.

Source: http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/59/messages/984.html

Farm Sayings Friday is weekly feature of Yield Starts Here. You might think your grandparents made it up, but that old saying likely goes back many years. In this feature we will figure out who said it first and what it really means! Do you have a well used saying in your family, send to us and we'll feature it in a future blog.
 
Yield Starts Here is a blog for farmers, focusing on increasing yield and profitability by focusing on the soil. It is managed by Craig Dick, a Blogronomist and Sales and Marketing Manager at Calcium Products. Find other articles by Craig and guest writers at http://blog.calciumproducts.com/ .

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Article Reference:: Calcium Products, Inc.
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