goodness gracious(redirected from gracious sakes)
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!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
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.