Geez

or Ge'ez

[ gee-ez, gey- ]
/ giˈɛz, geɪ- /

noun

a Semitic language of ancient Ethiopia, now used only as the liturgical language of the Ethiopian Church.

QUIZZES

WHO SAID IT: A QUIZ ON PRESIDENTIAL WIT AND WISDOM

Think you know your presidents? Take this quiz and see if you can match the style, wit, and ideology of these memorable lines to the right POTUS.
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“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”
Also called Ethiopic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

ABOUT THIS WORD

What else does geez mean?

The word geez is an informal way to express surprise, disappointment, frustration, annoyance, or exasperation.

Geez can also be spelled jeez. It’s an interjection, meaning it’s typically said by itself (instead of as part of a sentence) to express some kind of emotion. It’s usually used before or after another statement, as in I wasn’t implying that at all. Geez. 

The term geez can be used in both negative and positive contexts, but it’s more often used negatively to express frustration with what someone has said or done.

Geez comes from a shortening of Jesus, which makes it a euphemism—a milder way of saying something that may be considered offensive, blasphemous, or harsh. Many other words like this (often called mild oaths or minced oaths) are formed in a similar way. The word gosh, for example, is an alteration of the word God.

Geez is commonly used in the phrase geez louise, which means the same thing as geez but is usually used in more humorous situations. (The name Louise is probably just added as a rhyme).

Unrelatedly, the word Geez (or Ge’ez) is a name for a Semitic language of ancient Ethiopia, now used only as a ceremonial language of the Ethiopian Church.

Example: Geez, Tim, you don’t have to be such a jerk.

Where does geez come from?

Geez is a shortening of Jesus, which can be used as an interjection in a similar (though often more harsh) way. The similar terms gee and gee whiz are also based on the word Jesus.

Geez can be used positively, especially as a way to express surprise or perhaps appreciation, as in Geez, you did all this for me? But most often it’s used to express exasperation—annoyance or frustration, especially due to some repeated or prolonged behavior. Still, it’s very informal, so it’s often used in grievances that aren’t so serious, as Geez, dude, don’t hog all the chips!

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to geez?

  • jeez (alternate spelling)

What are some synonyms for geez?

What are some words that share a root or word element with geez

 

What are some words that often get used in discussing geez?

How is geez used in real life?

Geez is very informal. Although it’s a euphemism, most people just think of it as its own word (as opposed to a substitute for the word Jesus).

 

 

Example sentences from the Web for Geez

British Dictionary definitions for Geez

Ge'ez
/ (ˈɡiːɛz) /

noun

the classical form of the ancient Ethiopic language, having an extensive Christian literature and still used in Ethiopia as a liturgical language
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