in tarnation?

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in tarnation?

Used as an intensifier after a question word (who, what, where, when, why, and how) to express extreme confusion, surprise, or aggravation. Primarily heard in US. And just how in tarnation am I supposed to have three reports done by 9 AM tomorrow? Where in tarnation did you find that rusty old car? Who in tarnation is making all that noise?

what in tarnation

An exclamation used to emphasize surprise, shock, anger, disgust, etc. Just what in tarnation is going on here? Aw, what in tarnation! I just had this fixed, and now there's a dent in it! What in tarnation! Don't sneak up on me like that!
See also: tarnation, what
References in periodicals archive ?
On our way to the airport, we found ourselves behind buses and jeepneys emitting dark clouds of smoke and wondered how in tarnation did these monstrosities get past the line we were forced to fall in just a few kilometers back?
Why in tarnation did you let my American Handgunner and GUNS Magazine subscriptions lapse?
What in tarnation was these boys thinkin', putting the fangs out like this on a post-maintenance check flight, not to mention one that gave the crew a hint the aircraft might not be 100 percent in terms of handling ability?
I don't hesitate to put all this into writing, because you would have to read it anyway in Tarnation.
What in tarnation was the BBC thinking when they enlisted the ``help'' of that pair?