God knows


Also, goodness knows; heaven knows.

1

Truly, certainly, definitely, as in God knows I need a winter coat. This expression, which originated about 1300 as God wot, does not necessarily imply that God is all-knowing but merely emphasizes the truth of the statement it accompanies. The variants using goodness and heaven are euphemisms that avoid taking God's name in vain. [Second half of 1500s]

2

Also, God only knows. Only God knows, that is, neither I nor anyone else knows, as in God knows where I've stored those photos, or God only knows how many people will join the march. [Second half of 1500s]

QUIZZES

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.