"Ye gad."

Discussion in 'English Only' started by subtitler, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. subtitler Senior Member


    There's an old film, where there's an older male conductor and a young girl on a train. The girl has entered the train without a ticket and the conductor has caught her. The girl begs to be able stay onboard and offers to work for her ticket. She says she'll do anything. Then the conductor says, "Well, ye gad", and offers the girl a post in the canteen. Now what does this phrase mean and how else would you say it?

    Thanks again!
  2. tinlizzy

    tinlizzy Senior Member

    USA - English
    It sounds like egad (oh god).
  3. The Slippery Slide Senior Member

    "Ye gads" is often used in historical films. I don't know whether it was ever a real expression, or just a 20th/21st century idea of how people used to speak, but it means "My god!" and is an exclamation of surprise. If the bus conductor used it, he was probably adopting the phrase so as to be quirky.

    Unless I've completely misunderstood, and he just had a thick regional accent. Maybe he was saying "You got it", or "You're good".

    By the way, how many Oscars did that movie win?
  4. somebonus New Member

    I know this is an old thread, but I was wondering whether the "Ye Gads" might have the same root as "gadfly". The word there comes, apparently, from an Old Norse term meaning "goad" or "spike". If this is so, then might "Ye Gads" be a sort of minced oath similar to the Shakespearean "S'blood!" or "By the rood" or "Zounds"? 'Gads' in this case might refer to the nails used in the crucifixion. Any thoughts?

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