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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The emergence and use of very affordable, nearly professional-grade HD-capable equipment is neglected in favor of focus on films like Four Eyed Monsters, Tarnation, and the filmmakers associated with mumblecore.
Such therapeutic process recall that of the protagonist in Tarnation, prompting us to reflect on the similarity of experiences represented in apparently very different cinematic texts.
of Lewiston, ME, will soon introduce Tarnation, Baxter's first lager beer, brewed in the style of the "steam" beers of 19th-century California.
Slowcore, as a genre, could well have died out after the demise of Codeine or Tarnation or Mazzy Star but for Low's persistence, a gritty determination that their fertile patch of ground, no matter how small, can keep providing.
One review of Hill's performance notes this quality of the Yankee saying, 'His [Hill's] performance throughout was "tarnation" and "cantankerous" clever, and kept the house in an unceasing convulsion of laughter.' (84) The words 'tarnation' and 'cantankerous' were obviously foreign sounding, and perhaps amusing to reviewers and audience members alike.
The omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Jehogodallah must be looking down and wondering what in tarnation he has created.
Developer Lucky Frame says: "You are a budding entrepreneur, whose hotel is rather unfortunately located within the territory of Tarnation Tadstock, the Texas Tyrant.
But gradually, the collective voice claims, his mind turns vacant and he kills even too readily for the band he serves: "Our Jim's gone husk," and then, "Our Jim's gone deadmouthed, won't respond / to our bit, his head's a petrified den tree--/ and some ursine beast from tarnation / is holed up inside it."
Speaking of ignorance, what in tarnation is going on with the Miss USA pageant?
What in tarnation do we think we're doing when we bless or ask for a blessing?
That leaves me with more time to contemplate the other great Conway mystery: What in tarnation is wrong with those people at the University of Central Arkansas?
And what in tarnation was that ship's captain thinking?
(32.) See Jonathon Couette's 2003 auto-documentary Tarnation.
It was just the first one about which the media went and blabbed all over tarnation.
Of course, I could suggest they might like an explanation of the intricacies of rucking and mauling, forward passes and just what in tarnation is going on at the lineout.