Godfrey Daniel


What's the meaning of the phrase 'Godfrey Daniel'?

Gidfrey Daniel is a euphemistic way of saying ‘God damn them’ without causing offence.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Godfrey Daniel'?

Godfrey Daniel is a minced oath – much favoured by W.C.Fields. He used the expression as an exclamation, as other might have used Gordon Bennett!.

The expression was first used in England in the 19th century, as in this example from the Leicester Chronicle, December 1882:

“Godfrey Daniel, Gustavus Dor, Jeremiah Mollymuckatostway, I’ve found out a way to catch the thief,” said Ratcatcher.

The Fatal Glass of Beer, 1932.

Trend of godfrey daniel in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.