Where did the term "doggone it" come from?
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Others have it derived from the Scottish dagone, or "gone to the dogs," but there's a bit of debate about that.
From my own search, I found several pre-1851 uses. It looks like it may have first appeared in print in a British publication, albeit of an American vernacular dialog, in Adventures in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains by British explorer George Ruxton, 1847 (date check):
It subsequently appeard three times in 1848 in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, in articles written by Ruxton while living in America.
One possible route to doggone would be God damn -> God darn -> doggarn -> doggone. The earliest I could find a reference to dog garn is in the play Ossawattomie Brown, or The Insurrection at Harper's Ferry, by Mrs. J. C. Swayze (1859) reprinted here. There are also a few Google books hit for doggarn in the 1870's and 1880's. I think this is fairly good evidence for the derivation through doggarn.
perhaps from the Scotch "dagone," gone to the dogs, or maybe an alteration of G*ddamn, 1851; doggoned, 1857.
As reported by the NOAD, the origin of the word is early 19th century, probably from dog on it, euphemism for God damn it.
protected by tchrist Jul 2 '14 at 2:28
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