goodness gracious

(redirected from gracious sakes)

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
References in classic literature ?
Well, gracious sakes, she has a nerve," he muttered as he went along the street and passed a row of vacant lots where corn grew.
For gracious sake say something else besides `indeed,' or you'll fidget me to death," said Miss Pross: whose character (dissociated from stature) was shortness.