Darn It!: Traditional Female Skills That Every Man Should Know

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Darn It!: Traditional Female Skills That Every Man Should Know

Darn It!: Traditional Female Skills That Every Man Should Know

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The reasons for this change are various, including religious revivals, industrialization and the relocation of people from farms to factories, an emerging middle class, increasing literacy, and an improvement in the status of women. The last, and its effects on language, was especially notable in the United States. Reporting on American society in the early 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville observed in Democracy in America, that “in the presence of a woman the most guarded language is used lest her ear should be offended by an expression.”

Darn it Crossword Clue Answers are listed below. Did you came up with a solution that did not solve the clue? No worries the correct answers are below. When you see multiple answers, look for the last one because that’s the most recent. Did you get the correct crossword clues? You can find the crossword clues to NYTimes today’s other questions below. If you are curious about the explanation of the answer, please let us know in the comments section.

It is always difficult to trace the origins of casual phrases of this sort, but gosh and many of its close cousins appear to have crept into the English language in the second half of the eighteenth century. This was a time when society in England and its newly united colonies in North America was becoming more refined, anticipating many of the features that are commonly associated with the Victorian Age. ( She ascended to the throne in 1837.) People in the late 1700s on both sides of the Atlantic started to act more politely than in the past and to choose their words more carefully, especially when women were present. The mild darn also was developed into longer forms, such as darnation, goldarn (where the gol stands for God), and not by a darned sight, with the latter being softened even further into not by a considerable (or long) sight. The sound of the D also carried over into other substitutions for damn, including dang, dash, ding, dog (“I’ll be dogged!” or even “ Dog my cats!”), and drat. Of course, darn alone continues in widespread use, as in the 2008 book title, Those Darn Squirrels, or the tongue-in-cheek complaint of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff in early 2010: “I’m too busy dealing with the news insurance companies to practice any journalism. These days, gosh darn it, I have time only to bill readers.”

Darn, meanwhile, is recorded mainly in American English, with the first example in the OED coming from the Pennsylvania Magazine of 1781. From the context, it is apparent that the term was recognized early on as a euphemism: “In New England profane swearing . . . is so far from polite as to be criminal, and many . . . use . . . substitutions such as darn it, for d- -n it.” (Note the uses of dashes, a convention that we still use; up until about 1700, damn would more likely have been printed in full.) Conveying the flavor of darn it as used in polite conversation nearly a century later is a line from The Arcadian Club, an otherwise unmemorable drama included in an 1874 collection for students: “And I have an impulse to swear! . . . Let Nature have her way! Darn it! darn it! darn it! darn it! I never knew it was so easy. Why there’s a pleasure in it!”

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