By gum


      • surprise or amazement
        Expressing disbelief or astonishment at something unexpected or impressive happening

      • determination or persistence
        Showing grit and determination to complete a task or overcome an obstacle despite difficulties or setbacks

    Examples of By gum


      The idiom "by gum" can be used in two main ways - expressing surprise or amazement, and showing determination or persistence. In both cases, the phrase conveys a strong emotion and adds emphasis to the statement being made.

      In the first usage, "by gum" is often used in response to something unexpected or impressive, conveying a sense of shock or disbelief. It can also be used to show admiration or awe towards someone or something. For example, "By gum, that was an incredible performance!" or "By gum, I can't believe you did that!"

      In the second usage, "by gum" is typically used to express determination and perseverance. It conveys a sense of grit and resilience in the face of challenges. For example, "He's been working on that project for months, by gum he's not giving up!" or "By gum, I'll finish this race even if it's the last thing I do!"

      Origin of "By gum"

      The exact origin of the idiom "by gum" is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in England in the 18th or 19th century. It may have originated as a minced oath, a euphemistic way of avoiding saying "by God" in polite company. "Gum" may have been used as a replacement for "God" due to its similar sound.

      Another theory suggests that the phrase may have originated from the practice of chewing gum as a way to stay alert and focused. By saying "by gum," someone may be expressing their determination to stay focused on a task or goal.

      Overall, "by gum" is a versatile idiom that can convey a range of emotions and attitudes, from surprise and amazement to determination and persistence. Its origins may remain unclear, but its usage continues to be a popular and impactful way to express oneself in English.