MINCED OATH. A semi-technical term for a SWEARWORD modified so as to be used without giving offence: God modified to Gosh, shit to shoot. Two forms of modification are common: (1) Creating a nonsense equivalent: (by) God becoming (by) Golly/Gosh/Gum; Jesus becoming monosyllabic Gee or disyllabic Jeepers, and Jesus Christ becoming Jeepers Creepers; hell becoming heck. (2) Substituting an everyday expression of similar sound and length, sometimes with an associated meaning, sometimes with no association whatever: bloody becoming ruddy; damn (it) becoming darn (it); fuck becoming flip. See EUPHEMISM, SWEARING, TABOO.
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