Where did the term "doggone it" come from?
doggone 1851, Amer.Eng., a "fantastic perversion of god-damned" [Weekley]. But Mencken favors the theory that it is "a blend form of dog on it; in fact it is still often used with it following. It is thus a brother to the old English phrase, 'a pox upon it,' but is considerably more decorous."
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.
As reported by the NOAD, the origin of the word is early 19th century, probably from dog on it, euphemism for God damn it.
perhaps from the Scotch "dagone," gone to the dogs, or maybe an alteration of G*ddamn, 1851; doggoned, 1857.
protected by tchrist♦ Jul 2 '14 at 2:28
Thank you for your interest in this question.
Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).
Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?