God knows (that) I've tried

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God knows

1. No one knows (except for God). God knows how long it will take for my application to be processed. A: "How do you think you did on your exam?" B: "God knows!"
2. It is absolutely true, certain, or definite that; it is obvious or clear that. God knows I need to do well on this test or I can kiss my scholarship goodbye!
See also: god, know

God knows (that) I've tried

It is the absolute truth that I have tried my best (to do something). A: "You and Jeff just need to spend some time together and bond." B: "God knows I've tried. That boy just isn't interested in doing anything other than playing those damned video games." A: "You need to convince her to accept the deal." B: "God knows that I've tried, but she is adamantly refusing." A: "Then try harder!"
See also: god, know, tried
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

God knows

Also, goodness knows; heaven knows.
1. Truly, certainly, definitely, as in God knows I need a winter coat. This expression, which originated about 1300 as God wot, does not necessarily imply that God is all-knowing but merely emphasizes the truth of the statement it accompanies. The variants using goodness and heaven are euphemisms that avoid taking God's name in vain. [Second half of 1500s]
2. Also, God only knows. Only God knows, that is, neither I nor anyone else knows, as in God knows where I've stored those photos, or God only knows how many people will join the march. [Second half of 1500s]
See also: god, know
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
She added: "There is a long history of relationships between Princes of Wales and actors - not just actresses, not just the rude relationships as Charles would say, though God knows I've tried. He wasn't having any of it."
God knows I've tried to keep my obsession with caravanning out of this column, but you're obviously trained in spotting the subliminal messages and thought it was worth the stamps.
Sidney Montgomery ramrods things at Tara and has become pretty much of a buddy even though he chides me some because I haven't had any impact on Tara's natural resources, i.e., its Mississippi River hardwood bottom big bucks, though God knows I've tried.