Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

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 ?
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.
Beginning the first week of March, Tarnation will be distributed throughout Baxter's four-state footprint (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts).
Even more crazy, why in sexual- harassment tarnation would any pubic institution of higher learning consider him for employment, unless they don't employ background checkers?
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.
The success of recent films like Pedro Almodovar's All About My Mother and Jonathan Caouette's documentary Tarnation suggests that interest in the subject is as strong as ever.
LIVERPOOL'S gay film festival preview continues at FACT with the return of Tarnation to Fact Made for just $200 and produced by Gus Van Sant, Jonathan Caouette's autobiographical debut feature is a terrifying and moving account of coming out in America in the 80s.
Yet ultimately Tarnation is a flawed act of utter self-indulgence that leaves many questions unanswered
It's not just the story that makes Tarnation remarkable, but the way it is told.
While Capturing The Friedmans asked us to think about the nature of truth, and Supersize Me encouraged us to consider what fast food does to us, Tarnation doesn't raise any questions.
Jonathan Caouette's film Tarnation, which won him last year's Sutherland Trophy at the 48th Times bfi London Film Festival, and was screened at Cannes and Sundance is being previewed by its UK distributor, Optimum Releasing.
Burns), or they documentarize them pure and simple (the recent Tarnation [Jonathan Caouette] and Super Size Me [Morgan Spurlock] or anything by
Tarnation (Jonathan Caouette) The best movie of the year.
On the one hand, the festival has tried to present exciting feature films that have gained buzz after the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)--this year, it included Todd Solondz's pleasingly strange Palindromes, Niels Mueller's The Assassination of Richard Nixon, Jonathan Caouette's Tarnation, Catherine Breillat's Anatomy of Hell, Mike Leigh's Vera Drake, Olivier Assayas's Clean and Almodovar's Bad Education among others--and at the same time, the festival has had to work hard to avoid the impression that it's merely TIFF redux.