1. toniosky

    toniosky Senior Member

    Haute-Savoie, FR
    France, French
    "by jove "

    The checked the dictionary but I dont get it. Any idea ?

    I actually found it on the forum, the guy wanted some translation :

    In English when one says by jove (or such other expletive) "I needed that"...
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2009
  2. prof d'anglais Senior Member

    Tours 37, France
    England, English
    Oops sorry, the guy was me. "By jove" is an expletive, as in mon dieu. Jove is a contraction of Jehovah
  3. toniosky

    toniosky Senior Member

    Haute-Savoie, FR
    France, French
    Thanks, I get it now !
  4. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo

    but this is quite an old-fashioned expression. prof d'anglais you must have been using it jocularly. No one would seriously say by jove these days (in AE anyway).

    gosh, wow, man, etc. would be modern equivalents for mon dieu in AE.
  5. prof d'anglais Senior Member

    Tours 37, France
    England, English
    Of course you're right wildan1 but in mixed company, such as this delightful forum, I wouldn't use the stronger, more usual expletives. One can take them as 'read'.
  6. klodaway

    klodaway Senior Member

    "by Jove" is probably famous to French comics readers as it is one of the favorite expletives in "Blake & Mortimer", unless I am mistaken...

  7. Amda Zako Senior Member

    France / French
    Thanks klod, I was trying to remember. I'd be surprised if any living English speaker actually uses it. Anybody own up?

    A French equivalent would be "Sacrebleu!"
  8. prof d'anglais Senior Member

    Tours 37, France
    England, English
    'Jove' is also the name of the Roman god Jupiter. There're several literary references to "by jove", as in the not unfamiliar Pygmalion play by George Bernard Shaw and Jeeves stories but I've always felt these ancient expression should be kept alive...
  9. alisonp Senior Member

    English - UK
    I was going to suggest "Par Jupiter", but perhaps that's too Astérix-y?
  10. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo

    puisqu'on y est, pourquoi pas par Toutatis ?!
  11. Amda Zako Senior Member

    France / French
    Fichtre !
    Diable !
    Diantre !
    Mes aïeux !
    Par tous les démons !
  12. pyan

    pyan Senior Member

    Vendée, France
    English, UK, London
    Several posts have been removed from here and placed into a new thread. The reason for the thread split was rule 9. We are building a resource here. Off topic discussions, however interesting, make it harder to people researching the original expression. In the case of this discussion, people searching for "sacrebleu" and "sacre bleu" in the future would not have found the treasures without the thread split.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2013
  13. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo

    Holy Smoke!
    Jesus, Mary and Joseph! (expression used by my Irish grandmother)
    By cracky!
  14. david314

    david314 Senior Member

    Clayton, Missouri
    American English
    I have seen by jove translated in a Gallimard folio bilingue as, parbleu.
  15. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    That's a good translation, imo; so are, sacrebleu, palsambleu and other suchlike old-fashioned oaths like the ones Amda Zako suggested.

    I'm afraid it's not, Prof, the other explanation you provided is correct:

    Jove is a less common English formation based on Iov-, the stem of oblique cases of the Latin name (most often seen in somewhat archaic expressions, such as "By Jove!").
    WIKIPEDIA, Jupiter
  16. hugohaas Banned

    Bonne après-midi a vous tous,

    Voici: j'ai naguère appris que la délicieuse interjection '' By Jove '' en anglais correspond en en français et a ''corbleu''(le juron) et a '' par Jupiter''. De plus, elle sert a marquer en anglais la surprise. Alors, ma question est ceci: est-ce qu'on pourrait employer et '' Par Jupiter '' et '' Corbleu '' pour marquer la surprise?

    Merci infiniment par avance de vous intéresser a mon sujet!!Cette interjection me plait infiniment en anglais et est employée par un personnage dans une bande dessinée que j'affectionne et je serais ravi de savoir s'il est possible de s'en servir le cas échéant en français. :)
  17. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    I can't comment on the French, but "By Jove!" is very outdated in English, like centuries maybe. If you saw it in a comic, then it was just for a laugh. Nobody says that any more.

    If you like really old-fashioned expressions, then try "By God's throat!" or "Zounds!"
  18. gks Junior Member

    Fr/En - Canada
    En voyant "By Jove," "pardi" et "pardieu" me viennent à l'esprit.

    le Petit Robert : "Il a trouvé porte close. Pardi, Il s'était trompé d'adresse!"
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  19. hugohaas Banned

    @ Seneca the Duck: Thank you very much indeed for responding to me!!!What a shame that one may not use '' By Jove '' anymore!!!( Thank you for proposing me '' By God's throat!" and '' Zounds! ''. I already knew this latter but thanks for reassuring me about his use. I believe that you just told that I may use it. I find it amusing,for I thought that '' Zounds! '' was older than '' By Jove!Does it mean that it is still in use? ''. O Blake!!Your pleasant interjection is only for you!! Zounds!! I did not know '' By God's throat! ''. What does it express,please? a pleasant one, you just give me!!:) How old is it?Where do you find it?Which kind of persons use it?Do you know this?

    Pour gks: Merci infiniment de vous intéresser a mon sujet!! '' Pardieu! '' correspond en anglais a '' Egad(s)!'', d'après le Larousse en ligne.Quant a '' Pardi '', je le sens pour l'avoir déja entendu dans quelques films de Western: je crois qu'il correspond en anglais a '' By God! ''. Voila!!J'espère vous avoir bien servi!:)
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  20. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    I believe that "By God's throat!" is centuries old. I once read a story about Richard the Lionheart (King of England, late 12th century) in which he supposedly used this expression. But unless I'm mistaken, Richard spoke French, so this "By God's throat!" would only have been a translation of his actual words, and I have no idea how old the translation was.

    As for "Zounds!" I have read that it is a contraction of "By God's wounds", referring to the wounds that Jesus suffered in his last hours. I believe at one time (in the Middle Ages) it was very common in English to use expressions with "By God's something-or-other".

    You might possibly still hear "Zounds" from time to time, but "By God's throat" is hopelessly passé by now.

    I'll take the opportunity here to disagree with one poster on the subject of "Jove". I don't believe "Jove" has any connection to "Jehovah". "Jove" refers to "Jupiter". Jupiter as a proper noun in Latin was very irregular: Iuppiter was the nominative form, but the accusative was the very irregular "Iovem".
  21. hugohaas Banned

    Many thanks,Seneca the Duck!!:) You served so well!!!:)

    Thank you very much indeed to both of you, wildan1 and Amda Zako!!:) Thank you for submitting interjections such as '' Jesus, Mary and Joseph'' (I am delighted to see your grandmother uses it!! It means one may still use it, can he not?:) ), '' By cracky! ''(incidentally, is it as old-fashioned as '' Zounds! ''. Iw would like to use it. I found it very pleasing, really and I only found it that it simply is old-fashioned!! Yes, old-fashioned is not as worse as far as interjections or terms are concerned as archaïc or obsolete, is it?:). Do tell me if it is still used!!:) Thank you very much in advance!!:) ) and for '' Par Toutatis!'' and '' Par Jupiter ''. Say, I discover that those interjections were used by Asterix!!:) Do you not think one may still use them?I mean, '' By Jove '' is simply '' dated ''( according to wikipédia) and besides, Blake used it during the Second World War. On the other hand, I found that larousse( the online official website of that dictionary) indicates nothing about his valour, I mean whether it is still common, dated, literary or if it already became archaïc or obsolete!!^^ What to do then?That interjection awfully pleases me!!^^ Let us decide together of his use, all right?^^
  22. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    I'd suggest that there's an element missing in all this discussion - social context.

    Not only is by Jove outdated - rarely used since about 1940 I'd suggest - but in its day it was a rather upper-class term implying that one had learnt Latin at school. Just possibly used by officers in the Second World War, but not by ordinary soldiers.

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph, on the other hand, reveals a Roman Catholic and quite probably working-class Irish upbringing.

    So the two have exactly the same force, but will never have been used by the same person.

    All the compounds of God's... (eyes, wounds, body, etc.) date from a much earlier period and would rarely have been used in the 20th century -- except by my maths teacher in about 1960 who would cry 'zounds! between clenched teeth as a deliberate expression of eccentricity.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  23. toniosky

    toniosky Senior Member

    Haute-Savoie, FR
    France, French
    I love WR's forum : I had a simple question and learned a lot !

    Thx !
  24. hugohaas Banned

    @ Keith Bradford: Golly!!:) Many thanks for all those precisions!!:)

    If I understood righly, by Jove was more used by very educated militars. One therefore has to be prudent when using it nowadays,has he not? As you said '' rarely used since about 1940 '', may I still used it from time to time?:)

    As to Jesus, Mary and Joseph, if I correctly understood your explanation about its history, it was used by religious and popular persons. wildan1 affirmed in this topic that his irish grandmother still uses it!! Is it proper to use it still? I mean for a young man who adores dated expressions. Truly, I am 22 years-old and i am an catholic and a bit religious person and besides, this expression infinitely pleases me!! What do you propose me to do for this expression? May I take it?:) Is it only dated or already outdated, antiquated or worse obsolete?

    At least, for '' Zounds! '', '' 'sblood'', '' sdeath'', would it senseless to use them still?^^ I mean, if I use from time to time for '' Zounds! '' and '' 'sblood! '' and rarely '' 'sdeath! '' ?^^ Truly, I know how ancient some are but they amuse me very much, at least '' Zounds! ''. As for '' 'sblood! '', I have a question. In french, it tallies with '' Palsambleu! '', according to its meaning and I really trust so!! My question is this: would be senseless to try to use it in English to express annoyance, as certain french people still do?^^ Yes, certain french people still use it and according to MSN encarta and Centre National des Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales, it still is dated(or '' vieilli '' in French) in French but in English, according to Wikipédia(in English), it is already archaïc!!^^ As for '' Zounds! '', it is dated, according to Larousse official website, to certain other websites and also to what it tallies with in French( '' saperlipopette! '', '' morbleu! ''). What to do then, my friend Keith Bradford with this one?:) Besides, it heard it in many animes of my childhood , as well as '' Blast! '' and '' Ye Gods! "!!:)

    @ toniosky: Thank YOU, my friend!! You asked a very shrewd question!!:) Good continuation and so long,I hope!!:)
  25. RennieViolet Senior Member

    Montréal, QC, Canada
    English - U.S.
    'sblood and 'sdeath I've never heard. Zounds on the other hand would definitely be conprehensible. Weird, but probably okay, as long as you're not a teenager or hanging out with the coolness police. You might get a few laughs, though.

    Personally, I favor "egads!" "ye gods!" and "gadzooks!" if I'm going to go archaic.

    Note that "Golly!" is also somewhat dated, but was popular within the last century... when, I'm not sure exactly. I think Jimmy Olsen (as in Superman's pal) said it a lot (perhaps in the original Superman movie?), but he was not really "with it".

    Hey, I don't think anyone has mentioned "Jumping Jupiter". It fits thematically, but seems dated/hokey. Also Jumping Jehosaphat.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2009
  26. hugohaas Banned

    Dear RennieViolet!!

    How are you doing, my friend? Golly!!!Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu for your message!!! Oh how glad I am you give me the OK for '' Zounds!''( I ADORE it, Zounds!!!), '' egads! '' (I A-DO-RE it!!Both in french '' Sacredieu! '' and in English!!), '' Ye Gods!(I love it to such a degree in the five languages I learn, especially both in German '' Zum Teufel and in English!!!) and this ADORABLE '' Gadzooks!! '' ( Golly!!What an enchantment!! Never did I use it!!But it truly lives within my mind, this enchantment!! I ADORE it, both in English and in French '' Saperlipopette! ''). 'sblood! infinitely pleases me but I suppose I better not use it in English, as a few persons are interested in talking nicely and use enchantment like those I just named!! Am I not right, old chap?. Besides, in French, a few persons still use its equivalent '' Palsambleu! ''. Truly, I even still hesitate in using it!!:S But, it is a pity that you affirm you heard no one using it!! '' 'sblood! '' is infinitely pleasing in English!! How I wish someone tell me that it was still in use during the WWII, i.d. by aircraft's pilots or by banks directors or merely by socialists!! How I wish that someone tell me,for example, that he read it in The adventures of Buck Danny or find it in The adventures of Blake and Mortimer or let us dream in Spirou or any other album like this!!)!! Lastly, ''sdeath!'' tallies in French to '' Mordieu!'', if I do not deceive myself!! This latter is how to say...a bit old but it pleases and consequently, I think I will have to use it very rarely!!:) In french, it simply is an swearword whilst in English,it is used to express anger or impatience as ''Zounds!''. For my part, this interjection should be put in use so that Zounds! be not only the only interjection which expresses these feelings!!^^ Why, how pretty it is!! How agreeable it is,really!!! Almost as agreeable as 'sblood!'' as far as such keen interjections are concerned!! Incidentally, how does interjections enter in use, in English? I mean, do you English people have a power to have it certain terms or expressions be used anew? Do you have such power? Which dated interjection will be used again in a few years, in your opinion?:)

    Many thanks again for your swift response and Good Day,my friend RennieViolet!!


    P.S: Pardon me for being indiscreet.How old are you,please?:) And DO continue in loving dated interjections please,for I believe in persons like you. You may have them LIVE AGAIN!!:) Do you realize it?Is is it Ace?:) Say, '' I say! '' awfully pleases me. Is it senseless to use it?:) Besides, even in French, it is terribly pleasing. It tallies in French with '' Fichtre! '', '' Mâtin! '' and '' Pas possible? ''. The first ones are my preferred. But I still did not use '' Mâtin! '' and '' Pas possible? ''. The german equivalent of '' Pas possible? '' or '' I say! ''(in English) is still in use. I heard it in a modern series, months ago!!:) In a simple german series!!:) Well, what do you say about '' I say! '' ? ^^
  27. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    I forgot to comment on Good grief!

    This is another of the God's family (originally God's grief = the agony of Jesus on the cross) but seems to have survived as a mild expletive, popularised in the Peanuts cartoons. So it's quite common nowadays, with no class connotations, in the way that Gods' blood and By Jove are not.

    I say is in the same class as By Jove: upper-class and old-fashioned; if you hear either on British television it's likely to be from Hastings, Hercule Poirot's public-school sidekick (ITV series set in 1932/3).
  28. hugohaas Banned

    Many thanks,Keith Bradford!!!:)

    So long!:)

  29. david314

    david314 Senior Member

    Clayton, Missouri
    American English
    If you are in the company of educated people, I'd say it with a smile just to be funny: It is indeed almost never heard, but you will be understood and appreciated by the witty & good-humored.

    And here's a bonus for you, by Jove! :p: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=712561
  30. giannid

    giannid Senior Member

    USA English
    Par l'amour de Dieu
  31. doodlebugger Senior Member

    My grandmother, a French Catholic, used Jésus-Marie-Joseph all the time as an expletive.
    It was said so fast that it sounded as one word.
    She was very religious and upper-class.
    She also used zut, flûte and saperlipopette.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  32. giannid

    giannid Senior Member

    USA English
    This expression is perhaps most famous from its appearance in My Fair Lady.

    After the girl learns to speak properly, Professor Higgins says, "By Jove, I think she's got it!"

    That's where I know the expression from, in any case.
  33. hugohaas Banned

    Many thanks, Seneca the Duck!!! You served me very much indeed!!!:)

    Only, I did not find the french equivalent for '' By God's throat! ''. It must not have existed, I mean the litteral french equivalent of it. But no matter, as it does not use itself anymore at all, does it?:)

    So long, I hope!!:)

  34. hugohaas Banned

    Good afternoon to both of you,doodlebugger and giannid!!

    How are you doing today?:)

    @ doodlebugger: thank you very much indeed for telling me interjections syour grandmother. I suppose we may imitate her, I mean we can take her interjections too, can we not? !!:) At any rate, I am ravished to see that these interjections are still used,even when it is by persons of another time than ours!!:) This is reassuring, at least as their use is concerned, at least I believe so!! How about you as far as they are concerned, these interjections? Is it prudent or rather say...wise to take them? Truly, I avow I already used today '' Saperlipopette! '':S. I would like so much to take '' Jésus-marie-joseph'', both in French and in English. It reminds me a few years ago, when I was used to hear it by mothers, aunts and I even believe that I already heard a young chap or a maiden using it!!

    @ giannid: thank you very much for your intervention,really!!:) I am delighted to see that '' By Jove! '' was actually used in the twentieth century. Say, this really makes one feel like using it!! Agatha Christie's time...It is not SO long ago,is it?Do you agree, my friend? What do you think about By Jove's use? I mean, if its use for expressing surprise is reasonably well dated, how about its use for agreement, assent?:) What about this one: '' By cracky! '' ? What do you think about it? Thank you very much indeed in advance for your response!!:)

    So long, mates!!:)


    doodlebugger [​IMG]
    Senior Member
  35. doodlebugger Senior Member

    I should have said my late grandmother.
    As for me, I would only used Jésus-Marie-Joseph to draw a chuckle from family members who knew my grandmother!
  36. hugohaas Banned

    Gosh!! Thank you for your response,doodlebugger!!! I therefore suppose that I only will use it!! Well, I take it!!:) I deem it is not so old and besides, using it sometimes might not be bad as far as I am concerned!!:) Many thanks again for your intervention in this subject!!:)

    Good week!!


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