What is the difference between Gosh and God?

catgreat

Member
Chinese
Dear sir or Madam:
As you know, some people prefer to saying oh my gosh while some people would like to say oh my god! I have been wondering for a long time! What is the difference between them? Is saying gosh more gentle than saying god? God and gosh are the same person, aren't they?
By the way, I just started this question at a wrong place, which was an accident!
Thanks for your time!
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    At some point in the distant past, there were people who thought that saying "Oh my God" was blaphemous. Thus, it was changed to "Oh my gosh".

    "Gosh" and "God" are not the same "person". There is no "person" named "Gosh".

    If you are of a religious nature and do not like to use "God" in such a manner, saying "gosh" is harmless and totally acceptable in "polite" company. "Oh my God" is not blasphemous, either, (in my opinion) but "Oh my gosh" is safe.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    Dear sir or Madam:
    As you know, some people prefer to saying oh my gosh while some people would like to say oh my god! I have been wondering for a long time! What is the difference between them? Is saying gosh more gentle than saying god? God and gosh are the same person, aren't they?
    By the way, I just started this question at a wrong place, which was an accident!
    Thanks for your time!
    There is a very tiny minority of English speakers who consider even euphemistic replacements for terms related to religion to be unacceptable. But for the vast majority, words such as darn, gosh, gee, and good grief are not at all offensive.

    Terms such as this are referred to as minced oaths.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    At some point in the distant past, there were people who thought that saying "Oh my God" was blaphemous.
    I think it is worth pointing out that there are Christians who would still consider this use dishonouring to God, a case of 'taking God's name in vain' (from the Ten Commandments). It is not just a case of people 'in the distant past'. I don't use 'Oh my God' in this manner.
     

    catgreat

    Member
    Chinese
    At some point in the distant past, there were people who thought that saying "Oh my God" was blaphemous. Thus, it was changed to "Oh my gosh".

    "Gosh" and "God" are not the same "person". There is no "person" named "Gosh".

    If you are of a religious nature and do not like to use "God" in such a manner, saying "gosh" is harmless and totally acceptable in "polite" company. "Oh my God" is not blasphemous, either, (in my opinion) but "Oh my gosh" is safe.
    Thanks a lot
     

    JJohnson

    Senior Member
    Texan English
    This is one of many euphemistic phrases to avoid using God's name in an offensive way.

    Oh my gosh
    oh my goodness
    my goodness
    darn it
    dang it
    dagnab it
    shoot
    bullcorn
    son of a biscuit maker
    heck
    blazes

    and some people, when they do slip up and use a word they think will offend, they will apologize by saying "pardon my French", as if the offending word was something they said in French which you must have misheard as a cuss word, or perhaps they infer that their French is a little faulty and can easily be misunderstood.

    "Well Mr. Soandso is just a selfish, greedy f*****g son-of-a-b***h! Pardon my French."

    just to name a few that come to mind.
     
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    whitesa6

    Senior Member
    English-United States
    I agree with the person above who said to "play it safe" use "gosh".

    Where I live in the U.S., majority of people are very religious/conservative. Kids are raised to say "Oh my Gosh" and not to "use God's name in vain" but saying "Oh my God".

    It's just "safer" to say oh my gosh, in my opinion.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    At some point in the distant past, there were people who thought that saying "Oh my God" was blaphemous.
    Those of us who regard the casual use of "Oh my God!" as blasphemous, inappropriate, and distatasteful are not all dead and buried, so it was not only in the "distant past" that this was true.
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    I was just wondering .... Does Gosh sound a little effeminate, as opposed to macho, to some people? Maybe because of the ending -sh?
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I was just wondering .... Does Gosh sound a little effeminate, as opposed to macho, to some people? Maybe because of the ending -sh?
    English lexis is not so sensitive to such issues as Japanese! We can sound more male/assertive/aggressive or more female/deferential/self-effacing/empathetic with our intonation, but not really with our choice of individual words.

    Saying Gosh instead of God hints to me that the speaker might be more God-fearing (as #9 suggests); and women may on average be more God-fearing than men; but that's not really the same thing.
     
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    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I was just wondering .... Does Gosh sound a little effeminate, as opposed to macho, to some people? Maybe because of the ending -sh?
    I suppose it's possible that it might do to some people, but I've never come across that suggestion being made before.

    It is beginning to sound slightly old-fashioned to me, but that's a different matter entirely.
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Thanks, Teddy. Thanks, Donny.

    All right, thanks. My thought on this must probably derive from my days in a U.S. high school where my male friends kept saying, "God! you go like this, and you go like that, man!" and my female friends, "Gosh, like, you always go like this, and you go like that, ferr surrre.":)
     
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    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    My thought on this must probably be derived from my days in a U.S. high school where my male friends kept saying, "God! you go like this, and you go like that, man!" and my female friends, "Gosh, like, you always go like this, and you go like that, ferr surrre.":)
    It may possibly just be a reflection of the old belief (which still lingers on places) to the effect that it's less permissible for girls to swear than it is for boys. That sounds to me more plausible than any suggestion of effeminacy.
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    'Gosh' is not the sort of exclamation I associate with a macho man. It's similar to, but probably not to the same extent, the word 'fabulous', a word which is more often than not used by women and gay men. :)
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think 'Gosh' can sound somewhat childish if it's used when most people would use something stronger, or nothing, if they avoid expletives of any sort.
    The Irish blaspheme profusely as far as I can make out, even leaving out the ubiquitous feckin'. I haven't been religious for about 63 years but I can't help feeling shocked.
    I do sometimes say 'God!' at home, but not 'Oh my God!' because it sounds like hysterical teens screaming OMG ( Oh my God!) at the slightest provocation.

    The best advice to non-natives, is to not get into the habit which is the advice to native speaker children as well, or should be.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I do sometimes say 'God!' at home, but not 'Oh my God!' because it sounds like hysterical teens screaming OMG ( Oh my God!) at the slightest provocation.
    That's interesting: I get the impression that OMG is one of the most commonly-used bits of teenage text-speak these days. In fact I've even come across people asking what it means. :eek:

    In contrast "Oh my Gosh!" sounds to me like something out of the 1920s.
     
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