goodness gracious

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goodness gracious

A mild exclamation of surprise, alarm, dismay, annoyance, or exasperation. Goodness gracious, look at the time! How is it nearly midnight already? Goodness gracious, Bill, would it kill you to take out the trash once in a while? Goodness gracious, that cyclist nearly hit me!
See also: goodness, gracious

goodness gracious

Also, good gracious; gracious sakes. Exclamation of surprise, dismay, or alarm, as in Goodness gracious! You've forgotten your ticket. Both goodness and gracious originally alluded to the good (or grace) of God, but these colloquial expressions, which date from the 1700s, are not considered either vulgar or blasphemous.
See also: goodness, gracious