Etymology
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dammit (interj.)

representation of the oath damn it! as it usually is sounded, 1908.

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damn (v.)
Origin and meaning of damn

Middle English dampnen, also damnen, dammen, late 13c. as a legal term, "to condemn, declare guilty, convict;" c. 1300 in the theological sense of "doom to punishment in a future state," from Old French damner "damn, condemn; convict, blame; injure," derivative of Latin damnare "to adjudge guilty; to doom; to condemn, blame, reject," from noun damnum "damage, hurt, harm; loss, injury; a fine, penalty," from Proto-Italic *dapno-, possibly from an ancient religious term from PIE *dap- "to apportion in exchange" [Watkins] or *dhp-no- "expense, investment" [de Vaan]. The -p- in the English word disappeared 16c.

The legal meaning "pronounce judgment upon" evolved in the Latin word. The optative expletive use likely is as old as the theological sense. Damn and its derivatives generally were avoided in print from 18c. to 1930s (the famous line in the film version of "Gone with the Wind" was a breakthrough and required much effort by the studio). Meaning "judge or pronounce (a work) to be bad by public expression" is from 1650s; to damn with faint praise is from Pope.

The noun is recorded from 1610s, "utterance of the word 'damn.'" To be not worth a damn is from 1817. To not give (or care) a damn is by 1760. The adjective is 1775, short for damned; Damn Yankee, the characteristic Southern U.S. term for "Northerner," is attested by 1812 (as damned). Related: Damning.

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damnable (adj.)

mid-14c., dampnable, "worthy of condemnation," from Old French damnable and directly from Medieval Latin damnabilis "worthy of condemnation," from Latin damnare "to doom, condemn" (see damn). Meaning "odious, detestable, abominable, deserving of condemnation" is from c. 1400. Related: Damnably(late 14c., dampnably).

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damnation (n.)

c. 1300, dampnacioun, "condemnation to Hell by God," also "fact of being condemned by judicial sentence," from Old French damnation, from Latin damnationem (nominative damnatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of damnare "to doom, condemn" (see damn). As an imprecation, attested from c. 1600.

Damnation follows death in other men,
But your damn'd Poet lives and writes agen.
[Pope, letter to Henry Cromwell, 1707 or 1708]
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damned (adj.)

late 14c., dampned, "believed to be sentenced to punishment in a future state;" mid-15c., "condemned, judicially sentenced," past-participle adjective from damn (v.). Meaning "hateful, detestable" is from 1560s, hence its use as an objurgation expressing more or less dislike. In literary use printed 18c.-19c. as d____d. As a noun, "those condemned to eternal suffering in Hell," late 14c. Superlative damndest (originally damnedst) "worst one can do" is attested from 1830.

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Damocles 

flattering courtier of Dionysius I, tyrant of Syracuse; his name in Greek means literally "fame of the people," from dēmos, damos "people" (see demotic) + -kles "fame," a common ending in Greek proper names, related to kleos "rumor, report, news; good report, fame, glory," from PIE *klew-yo-, suffixed form of root *kleu- "to hear." To teach Damocles the peril that accompanies a tyrant's pleasures, Dionysius seated him at a banquet with a sword suspended above his head by a single hair. Hence the figurative use of sword of Damocles, by 1747. Related: Damoclean.

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damp (n.)

early 14c., "noxious vapor in a coal mine, fire-damp, stifling poisonous gas," perhaps in Old English but there is no record of it. If not, probably from Middle Low German damp; ultimately in either case from Proto-Germanic *dampaz (source also of Old High German damph, German Dampf "vapor;" Old Norse dampi "dust"). Sense of "moist air, moisture, humidity" is not easily distinguished from the older sense but is certainly attested by 1706.

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damp (v.)

late 14c., "to suffocate" (with or as with damp, foul air in a mine), from damp (n.). Figurative meaning "to check or retard the force or action of (the spirits, etc.)" is attested by 1540s. Meaning "to moisten" is recorded from 1670s. Century Dictionary (1897) states that "Dampen is now more common in the literal sense, and is sometimes used in the derived senses." Related: Damped; damping.

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damp (adj.)

1580s, "dazed," from damp (n.). Meaning "slightly wet" is from 1706. Related: Damply; dampness.

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dampen (v.)

1630s, "to dull or deaden, make weak" (force, enthusiasm, ardor, etc.), from damp (adj.) + -en (1). Meaning "to moisten, make humid" is recorded from 1827. Related: Dampened; dampening.

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