[tahr-ney-shuh n]Older Use.
- damnation; hell (used as a euphemism): Where in tarnation is that boy?
Origin of tarnation
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for tarnation
How in tarnation did you come to git off that there train, hey?A Campfire Girl's Test of Friendship
Jane L. Stewart
"What in tarnation set the beasts onto us," inquired Shorty wonderingly.Si Klegg, Book 5 (of 6)
Well, if you know me so tarnation well, tell me what's my name.Stories of Comedy
But what in tarnation the stakes are that she's after is more'n I know.The Fifth Ace
"And he's tarnation sorry for himself too, you bet," added the Texan.Lone Pine
R. B. (Richard Baxter) Townshend
- a euphemism for damnation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for tarnation
1784, American English alteration of darnation (itself a euphemism for damnation), influenced by tarnal (1790), from phrase by the Eternal (God).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper