Lord (only) knows, the

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Lord knows

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

Lord (only) knows, the

Who knows? I certainly don’t. The locution that only God knows the answer to something dates from the eighteenth century or earlier. (It is also put as God knows and Heaven knows.) Defoe wrote (The True-Born Englishman, 1701), “Great families of yesterday we show, and lords, whose parents were the Lord knows who,” and a few decades later Swift wrote (Polite Conversation, 1738), “Lord of the Lord knows what.”
See also: lord
References in classic literature ?
"Lord bless you, Missis!" said Sam, "horses won't be cotched all in a mimit; they'd done clared out way down to the south pasture, and the Lord knows whar!"
"Sam, how often must I tell you not to say `Lord bless you, and the Lord knows,' and such things?
There is something that almost nips your breath in the idea that a dozen men, descended from the Lord knows whom, stopped a war which would have altered the whole face of history."
We've got enough to endure at the hands of the men, the Lord knows, so I hold we hadn't ought to clapper-claw one another, and it isn't often you'll find me running down another woman.
And, says he, "We have found only this partridge, but the Lord knows what mischief they have done."
And something did, for the next summer was made memorable by the prevalence of a mysterious disease--epidemic, endemic, or the Lord knows what, though the physicians didn't--which carried away a full half of the population.
We've been found to be the greatest gentlefolk in the whole county--reaching all back long before Oliver Grumble's time--to the days of the Pagan Turks--with monuments, and vaults, and crests, and "scutcheons, and the Lord knows what all.
Pullet continued, shaking her head and looking at her sister Tulliver, "when you and me chose the double diamont, the first flax iver we'd spun, and the Lord knows where yours is gone."
Your aunt would put it off till the Lord knows when, but he is anxious to be bound as soon as may be: he won't hear of waiting beyond next month; and you, I guess, will be of the same mind, so - '
The Lord knows she's nothing to look at and you scarcely ever hear her speak, but she did what none of us dare do.
Part of the teachings of the Bible are on how to deal with material things as the Lord knows we need to live a mortal life.
"The Lord knows those who are His" (2 Timothy 2:19).
I had to confess that I had no idea where Lusitania was, but that the Lord knows and we should pray for them anyway.
And the Lord knows I want a better life for my children.