jeez

[ jeez ]
/ dʒiz /

interjection

(used as a mild expression of surprise, disappointment, astonishment, etc.)

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Origin of jeez

1920–25, Americanism; euphemistic shortening of Jesus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

ABOUT THIS WORD

What does jeez mean?

Jeez is an informal way to express surprise, disappointment, frustration, annoyance, or exasperation.

Jeez can also be spelled geez. 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. Jeez. 

The term jeez 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.

Jeez 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.

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

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

Where does jeez come from?

Jeez 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.

Jeez can be used positively, especially as a way to express surprise or perhaps appreciation, as in Jeez, 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 Jeez, dude, don’t hog all the chips!

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What are some other forms related to jeez?

  • geez (alternate spelling)

What are some synonyms for jeez?

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

 

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

How is jeez used in real life?

Jeez 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 jeez