Can ''godspeed'' be an exclamation?

nemo eve walle

Senior Member
chinese
''Godspeed'' is usually used in this way, at least these are the most often usage I have ever seen:
He wishes you Godspeed
I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president
I bid Godspeed to her.

May I use ''godspeed'' in this way?

I've got to keep moving, so I need to hide this tape. Good luck to all of us, and godspeed.
''Mom, I have an examination tomorrow.'' ''Godspeed, son!''
They don't have ''wish you'' or ''bid you'' or something.


By the way, does the first letter ''godspeed'' need to be capital every time?
 
  • kozlova

    Member
    English - American
    Yes. If you wish someone God's speed or Godspeed, you don't need to say "wish" or "bid" or anything. You can just say "Godspeed." or "Godspeed!" like in both of those examples.

    Godspeed doesn't have to be capitalized. Some will capitalize Godspeed in the middle of a sentence as in "I wish her Godspeed" and some will not capitalize it. You will find both in equally reputable sources. It's more a matter of preference or habit.

    The reason for the capitalization is that many religious people always capitalize the word "God" as well as "Lord," "Father," "He," "Him," etc. when those words are referring to God to indicate God's divinity and important status. If you grew up always capitalizing the word God, you'll probably capitalize Godspeed. If you didn't, you might not.

    *EDIT* And I suppose by "religious people" I mean monotheistic, usually Christians, probably chiefly in Western culture.
     
    Last edited:

    dadane

    Senior Member
    English-London
    Used stand-alone it is effectively a shortened form of "I bid you Godspeed" or "Godspeed to you". However, in BrE it is very archaic, I have only ever heard it used in historical films/TV, never in real speech.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I see it used occasionally (and I have used it before), so it is not completely obsolete. Most of the time it's a stand-alone wish.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Although, perhaps not extinct as a word, it is certainly on the critically endangered list. Interestingly, I cannot hear either

    I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president.
    or
    I bid Godspeed to her.

    being said.

    I suspect that, as the construction is in the subjunctive and unchanged in centuries, it would rely on the unamended indirect object:

    I wish the man who was my former opponent and will be my president Godspeed.
    or
    I bid her Godspeed.

    The OED records "God's speed" and "God-speed" both capitalised. There is an entry for "Godspeed" but only in the set phrase,
    the Godspeed (of a thing), the conclusion, finish. Also, in the Godspeed, in the nick of time. Obs.
    However the entry has not been updated since 1900.
     
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