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Oh, My Gods!

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"By Me!"

Even though many churches really don't want us to use the Lord's name in vain, many people, especially in fiction, will end up saying "Goddammit" or "Oh my God" for one reason or another.note  However, a writer can't invoke a god in a fantasy environment because monotheism is rare, so where we say "Oh My God", characters in the fantasy universe will say "Oh My Gods!"

Depending on how developed the world is, it is also quite common to invoke actual gods by name, such as the Gauls in Asterix saying "By Toutatis!". Another common variation used by future civilizations is to invoke science or scientists instead. Occasionally an Alternate History with a non-monotheistic major religion will use this to demonstrate how different that world is. Sometimes a Physical God will reference themselves in this manner, with "By me!", "I swear by Myself!", "Jesus H. Me!" or similar.

Basically Truth in Television: although "Oh My Gods" isn't realistic, just plain "Gods!" does occur in Greek and Roman literature as an exclamation, although admittedly the emphasis is a little different (the speaker will usually address the gods with an appeal for help or an incredulous "Do you see this?"), and phrases like "ye gods" (and its minced-oath version "egad") or "by the gods" are equally common (a variation is "by Helios" since the sun sees everything and is the god of oaths; interestingly the Franks also swore by the sun). (Also common was the singular "God", which might mean either the chief god of the pantheon or whatever god the speaker happened to be particularly devoted to.) Even more vulgar constructions have been found as well; a popular epithet found carved into walls by Roman hooligans is "By Juno's twat!" It's not uncommon in modern times, either, depending on what circles you travel in.

The inverse is Orphaned Etymology, which writers may consider avoiding. If, in the created world, there is nobody referred to as "God", and if there isn't at least a belief in an afterlife/underworld called Hell, then nobody should use expressions that invoke either — although a charitable audience could always put this down to Translation Convention.

Compare Answers to the Name of God, when someone swears "My God!" (or the equivalent), only for another character to reply "Yes?"

See also: Unusual Euphemism, Curse of The Ancients, Hold Your Hippogriffs, Pardon My Klingon. For non-human examples and belief systems, see Thank the Maker. This page is not for the Indian movie Oh My God!

Example Subpage:

Other Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Vinland Saga: The Vikings naturally swear by the gods of Norse Mythology. Askeladd swears by Týr (the god of justice) to emphasise the truthfulness of a promise.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix:
    • Aside from swearing to Toutatis and Belenos ("Par Toutatis! / Par Belenos!" in the original French), the Gauls sometimes use this as the set up to funny puns.
      Gaul 1: Par Toutatis! (By Toutatis!)
      Gaul 2: Par Belenos! (By Belenos!)
      Gaul 3: Par Belisama! (By Belisama!)
      Gaul 4: Par exemple? (For example?)
    • Also parodied once, when every character in the scene cites a different god... ending with "Amora, Goddess of Mustard".
    • The writers being history buffs, people from other cultures will always use the name of a god appropriate to them: The Romans say "By Jupiter", the Egyptians will say "By Osiris", etc.
    • The Twelve Tasks of Asterix movie cuts to the Olympian gods. Jupiter promptly ends a sentence with "By Me!"
  • Beasts of Burden: Dogs will occasionally exclaim, "Great dog in heaven".
  • Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire: Buck Godot and his friends express relief with "Thank Prime!" — which is also the name of a popular hangover cure because that's what you say when it kicks in. Whether this has anything to do with the character known as the Prime Mover has never been addressed.
  • Captain Britain: When Mad Jim Jaspers fought a destructive battle with The Fury, Saturnyne's only reaction is "Mithras wept!"
  • Cleopatra in Space: Akila often says "Oh my Ra!" after Egyptian Mythology. Once, her mother admonishes her, saying "Please don't use Ra's name in vain, sweetheart."
  • Doctor Strange's catchphrases include "By the Vishanti!" or "By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!". Another is "By the Roving Rings of Raggador!" Used hilariously in "The Oath", with Strange exclaiming "By the Hoary @#$%ing Hoasts!"
  • ElfQuest: The elves commonly say "High Ones!", which is a term that refers to the elves who first settled on the planet. They're the closest equivalent the elves have to gods. The Sunfolk tend to stick with "Great sun!" and the Wolfriders occasionally invoke their ancestral chiefs as well: "Tanner's needles!", "Two-Spear's madness!"
  • Gotham City Garage: People swear by Lex Luthor, which reveals to what extent he's controlling the post-apocalyptic world.
  • Upon Hercules' first fight with the Hulk: "By the zesty zither of Zeus!"
  • Brazilian comic Holy Avenger is based on the Tabletop RPG Tormenta, hence, different characters worship different gods and have different exclamations for each one. This was hilariously lampshaded at one point.
    Sandro (Human thief): Great Hyninn!
    Tork (Dwarf-Troglodyte): Tenebra heave me!
    Anne (Deadpan Snarker): Why don't you guys just say things like "Oh, my!" or "Holy crap!"... You know, like normal people?
  • The Inhumans used to swear by evolution. This was phased out because a) it sounds kind of stupid and b) the culture was based around a very poor definition of evolution anyway. They changed up to swearing by Randac, the Inhuman who developed the terrigenesis crystals they use to get superpowers.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • Characters swear by "Grudd", including the variant "Maureen, mother of Grudd!" It appears that the term is meant as a neologism for the Christian God — clergymen from the Vatican megacity use the term as well. There's a storyline that involves an actual Christian movement. It turns out that Christianity is outlawed, and the whole Church of Grudd and Jovus thing is a way for the Judges to control people through religion. The Judges decide that the leader of the Christian 'cult' is too powerful, fake a terrorist attack, force him to confess for it, and have him killed to destroy the Christian movement and lead them back to Judge-approved religions.
    • Amusingly, the Judges of East Meg One (former Soviet Union) seem to have taken the traditional Soviet state religion to the point where "God" has been replaced by the names of the ruling Diktatorat's members in the vernacular, like "in Bulgarin's name" or "Vlad knows".
  • Kayko & Kokosh: Often used by heroes Catchphrase is "By Trygław and Swaróg".
  • The Kree of the Marvel Universe tend to swear by the Supreme Intelligence (the closest thing they have to a god). Their enemies the Skrulls swear by Sl'gurt. Nicer Kree, who follow the ways of the Priests of Pama, swear by Pama instead.
  • Lady Death:
    • The titular protagonist often swears either "by the Abyss", "by all that is unholy" or "by all the gods".
    • In the Avatar Press continuity, the humans of the under realm often swear by "Great Maklu!". The demons occasionally say it as well though they don't actually hold the god Maklu in any esteem. According to Salacia, it was just an expression that crept into their language.
  • In Luther Arkwright, the people from universe 000.000.00 are all atheist, and use such expressions as "by Bell's telephone", or "In the name of Darwin". However, for some reason, they decided to name their big computer "WOTAN".
  • Marvel Comics comes closest with Luke Cage saying "Sweet Christmas!" as a dodge for invoking the name of Jesus. There are real Greek and Roman gods wandering around that 'verse, too.
  • Characters in Red Sonja swear by various deities such as Ishtar and Elrik. The titular character often swears by Mitra or Scathach.
  • Shazam!: Billy Batson may have yelled the initials of gods, but his catchphrase was "Holy Moley", which back then was a way for Catholics to say "Holy Mary, Mother of God!" (Word of God says Billy's Catholic) without offending the Big Guy Upstairs. Moley is also a useful, protective herb in the Greek epic of Odysseus. Oddly enough, it prevents magical transformations.
  • In the original French comic books of The Smurfs, Papa Smurf would say "Nom d'un Schtroumpf!" ("In the name of a Smurf!") while Farmer would say "Cre vingt schtroumpfs!" ("Twenty sacred smurfs!"). Gargamel in the English translation of "The Painter Smurf" says "By Beelzebub's horns" early in the story.
  • Star Trek: Early Voyages:
    • When he is shocked, Nano often swears "by the Unity!" In "One of a Kind", the Lirin Unity is established as being his people's shared consciousness and the entire basis of their society.
    • In "The Fallen, Part Two", Captain Pike swears by the Great Bird of the Galaxy.
    • In "Future Tense, Part Two", Yssir similarly swears by the "Great Bird above."
  • Wulf in Strontium Dog exclaims "By der Gotts!" on occasion.
  • In a Superman/Silver Surfer crossover, Silver Surfer shouted "By the Gods of Zenn-La!"
  • Superman:
    • Superman's "Great Rao!" (a Kryptonian Sun God). Interestingly, some minor Earth gods have chewed Clark out for invoking the name of Rao.
    • In Pre-Crisis days, Krypton was monotheistic and Raoism was presented as very similar to Judaism or Christianity, though the original The Krypton Chronicles miniseries revealed that the name Rao had been used for their culture's sun god in their polytheistic past. The monotheistic prophet Jaf-Em preferred to give Rao the title "Rao, who kindled the sun" (to distinguish that Rao was not the sun, but rather its creator), a phrase which continued to appear in Kryptonian marriage ceremonies up to the present day.
    • In The Killers of Krypton, planet Colu native Z'ndr Kol exclaims "Thank P'llcyd" after putting a Kryptonite-proof suit on Krypto. When asked, he explains P'llcyd is one of his family's gods.
    • Superman also used to swear by Krypton itself: "Great Krypton!"
    • And "Great Scott!" which was a common exclamation in early-20th century America that either started as an Unusual Euphemism or a military usage, see some other Wiki for info.
    • Supergirl also used to swear by Rao frequently. In the Post-Flashpoint universe she often swears: "Praise Rao" or "Sweet Rao". And in Supergirl #33 during the Red Daughter of Krypton story arc, Kara says "Because Rao apparently thought my day wasn't being hard enough”.
    • In an issue of Supergirl, one of Darkseid's minions got out "Darkseid's testi—" before being shushed.
    • In Bizarrogirl, a Kryptonian woman exclaims: "Cythonna's teeth!", invoking an ancient Kryptonian goddess.
    • In Krypton No More, Superman uses exclamations such as "Great Galaxies!"; Kara exclaims "Great Krypton" during the battle on planet Xonn; and Kandorians also say "Thanks to the stars!"
    • In War World Superman uses exclamations such as "Great Krypton!" or "Great Galaxies!"
    • Let My People Grow!: Even a humanoid A.I. as Brainiac swears "By the Great Cosmos!"
    • Perry White's constant uttering of "Great Caesar's Ghost!" It's an old euphemism for "Jesus Christ"; can be traced at least back to Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi, 1883.
    • Perry White's use of "Great shades of Elvis!" in the Lois & Clark incarnation, which also got some use in the Superman comics of the 1990s.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Starfire frequently exclaims "X'hal!" when surprised, and has said something to the effect of "Thank X'hal you're all right!" at least once. This becomes slightly odd when it turns out X'hal is at best very destructive and probably a little bit crazy. Fridge Brilliance when you realize the Tamaranians swing wildly between passionate lovers and Proud Warrior Race without a whole lot of moods in between.
    • Raven uses the name of the goddess Azar similarly.
  • The Mighty Thor:
    • Thor often swears "By Odin's beard!" Now he also uses it in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the line has become more popular. And funnier. ("Buy Odin's beer!") It's more often "By the bristling beard of Odin!", though the shortened version does show up from time to time. He's also fond of "By the thousand threats of Ragnarok!"
    • Asgardians also like replacing "hell" in expressions with "hel". (eg. "What the hel is going on?)
  • Tintin:
    • Slyly subverted in the comics featuring Borduria. There, the oath is "by the whiskers of Kûrvi-Tasch!", itself a parody of "Lenin's Beard!"
    • Tintin himself used "Great snakes!" (usually "sapristi" or "saperlipopette" in French) a lot, and then there's all of Captain Haddock's lusty but tame oaths. "Billions of blistering blue barnacles", indeed!
    • The astronomer in The Shooting Star would often exclaim, "By the rings of Saturn!"
  • The Trigan Empire has religion and superstition, but the characters seldom discuss it. Usual oaths, "By all the Stars!" and "By all the Demons of Daveli!" — since Daveli is a friendly nation to the Empire, this second one seems tactless.
  • Vampirella sometimes swears by "Satyr and Circe". These aren't deities in her universe but rather the names of Drakulon's two suns. She also sometimes declares "Dark Mother" likely a reference to her mother Lilith.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman's "Great Hera!" Amusingly played with in Young Justice. While at a concert, the girls get in line for the bathroom, and it's a very long line. In exasperation, Wonder Girl yells out "Hera help us!", and the next second, a giant monster bursts from the ground. All the other girls scatter in fear, Wonder Girl decks it with one punch, and the girls skip over the monster's body with a clear shot to the bathroom, sing-songing "thaaaank you, Hera!" as they go. Apparently the Wonders say it because Hera's listening!
    • Wonder Woman's other comics catchphrase is "Suffering Sappho!" Not a God (although in the DC Universe, she could be!), but classic nonetheless. Sappho is often associated in the modern era with female homosexuality, which makes her recent use of "Sappho's Hands!" incredibly dirty.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Diana uses Oh, Morpheus help me as an expression after waking from a bad dream.
    • Wonder Woman: The Once and Future Story: When Dr. Kapatelis reveals Artemis' remains Diana exclaims "Gaia!"
    • Wonder Woman (1942): In the Golden Age Diana and Hippolyte would occasionally swear by the "Hounds of Zeus", a god they explicitly did not worship or even respect in that continuity.
    • Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed: Several Amazons use "By the Five" referring to the five mother goddesses that formed the Amazons and created Themyscira.
  • X-Men
    • The Shi'ar of X-Men often exclaims "Sharra and K'ythri!" under the same circumstances as Starfire's "X'hal!" We've since met Sharra and K'ythri. In fact, almost all of the beings who own the names that get used in such exclamations (as well as magic spells) throughout the Marvel Universe have been encountered at least once. (Turns out several of them are not very nice people.)
    • Another X-Men example: Colossus' frequent exclamation of "By the White Wolf!"
    • And, back in the days of the U. S. S. R., "Lenin's beard!"
    • And Storm's "Goddess!"
    • Inhabitants of the Mojoverse, such as Shatterstar, swear "By Za!" or "Za's vid!" In the Amalgam Universe, Shatterstarfire swore by 'Zal, an amalgam of Za and X'Hal.

    Comic Strips 
  • While he himself is Christian, Dick Tracy's catchphrase has always been, "Ye gods!"
  • In Sweden, the most common swearwords concern the Devil and Hell. So, in the Swedish newspaper comic strip Himlens Änglar (Angels of Heaven), the Devil shouts "MY SELF AT HOME!" when he hits his thumb with a hammer.

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin:
    • "Allah" is inserted into various expressions in Disney's Aladdin.
    • The Genie also calls Aladdin "Doubting Mustapha", which is likely a reference to "Doubting Thomas".
  • Lampy from The Brave Little Toaster says "Holy mother of Edison!"
  • In A Bug's Life, Thorny swears, "Jiminy H. Cricket!" In fact, the name "Jiminy Cricket" was an old euphemism before being used in Disney's Pinocchio.
  • Cars uses it a few times. "Sweet Chrysler", "Ford Almighty", "thank the Manufacturer", etc. The Ford one might just be a Shout-Out to Brave New World, see below. Or not.
  • In the Rankin and Bass film The Flight of Dragons, Carolinus, the green wizard, utters, "By the beards of antiquity!"
  • Hercules
    • When Hercules demonstrated his god-like strength to him, Phil utters "Holy Hera."
    • Philoctetes voices the sentiment just after agreeing to train Hercules.
    • Pain and Panic recite this line word for word later on in the film.
  • Characters of How to Train Your Dragon have been known to say "Oh gods" or "Gods no!" and swear by Thor and Odin.
  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, Dr. Cockroach says, "By Hawkings' chair!"
  • The kingdom in which NIMONA (2023) takes place reveres their founder Gloreth, said to have vanquished a hideous monster and set up the system of knighthood. As such, her name is commonly used in phrases such as "Good Gloreth!" or "What in the name of Gloreth...?" Oddly enough, one side character does say "oh my God" early in the film.
  • The microscopic cast of Osmosis Jones use "Frank" in place of "God", this being the name of the man whose body they inhabit/constitute.
  • In Toy Story 2, Jessie at one point shouts, "Sweet Mother of Abraham Lincoln!"
  • In Turning Red, Priya says "Thank Cthulhu".
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph utters "Sweet Mother Hubbard" when he sees the bug swarm in Hero's Duty, and Vanellope von Schweet says "Sweet mother of monkey's milk" in a few occasions.
  • In The Year Without a Santa Claus, Santa uses "By the great Borealis! By my maps and charts" near the end.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Ron Burgundy utters a number of mythology-themed oaths, including "By the Beard of Zeus!" and "Great Odin's Raven!", etc. etc. The outtakes reveal that many of these were ad-libbed by Will Ferrell.
  • Doc Brown from Back to the Future iconically uses "Great Scott!" repeatedly, and uses "Sir Isaac H. Newton!" at least once.
  • Black Panther (2018):
    • When he challenges T'Challa for the throne, M'Baku at one point declares, "Glory to Hanuman!" after the Hindu monkey god.
    • This exchange between T'Challa and Shuri during the North Korea car chase:
      Shuri: Wait, which side of the road am I on?
      T'Challa: For Bast's sake, woman, just drive!
  • Galaxy Quest: "By Grabthar's hammer."
    • "By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Worvan, you shall be avenged."
    • "... what a savings!"
  • Jokingly used in Hot Fuzz: upon discovering a naval mine in a farmer's shed, Danny says "By the Power of Grayskull!!" in this manner. Nick says the same line upon seeing Danny's extensive DVD collection.
  • In The Last Starfighter, Centauri tells Alex Rogan, "May the luck of the Seven Pillars of Gulu be with you at all times."
  • In Oh, God!, God swears to tell the truth, "So help me me."
  • The apes in Planet of the Apes (2001) do variants of this with Seimos, the gorilla from Leo's space station who originated their culture and became a god figure.
  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu: Pikachu responds "Oh sweet mother of Arceus" (the Pokémon who created the world) upon being given a good chin-scritch. While references to Arceus and the other Olympus Mons have always been common in fan works, this is the first canon instance of it.
  • Vanity uses "Great Smurf in Heaven" to Grouchy when he lets out a fart in the sink while bathing in The Smurfs 2.
  • In the movie Spartacus, one character exclaims "Great merciful bloodstained gods!" after receiving some bad news.
  • Star Wars:
    • "Thank the Maker!", often said by C-3PO. In his specific case, this was Darth Vader. Not that he remembers.
    • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe and Star Wars Legends, the Jedi use "Force" for the same reason. During Star Wars (Marvel 1977), Vader at one point refers to "all the gods of the Sith"! (The original Sith people were said to have worshiped the Dark Jedi as gods, so "all the gods of the Sith" may easily refer to the first Dark Lords.)
    • Even by non-Force users, "May the Force be with us/you" is used seemingly in place of "May God be with you/Godspeed." The most clear case is probably in Rogue One after the Death Star fires on Scariff, killing everyone on it including any remaining members of Rogue One
    "Rogue One, may the Force be with you."
  • In Superstar (1999), when Jesus appears to Mary Katherine Gallagher she says, "Oh my God!" and he responds, "Oh my me!"
  • The phrase "Oh my User!" manages to sneak into TRON once or twice. In fact, the programs of TRON and TRON: Legacy view users as gods in general, and invoke them as such. It gets really interesting come TRON: Uprising where Flynn's name gets invoked by several characters.

  • Lone Wolf: Many Sommlending characters will swear "by Kai and Ishir", the god of the Sun and goddess of the Moon, respectively. Kai is mostly popular in Sommerlund, while Ishir is revered over most of Magnamund. The Vassagonians (from the "Arabian Nights" Days setting of this world) rather invoke their prophet, the Majhan. As for Naar, the God of Evil, his name is only ever used for the most obscene curses.

  • The foxes in Brian Carter's A Black Fox Running swear by "holy Tod", their deity. (Note that this name is likely taken from tod as an old English word for fox, and not, as the writer of the foreword seems to think, from the German word for death).
  • In China Miéville's Bas-Lag novels, people from the city-state of New Crobuzon mostly all swear to the same deity, Jabber, using the stock phrases like "By Jabber..." and occasionally mixing in the lowercase "god" for flavor.
  • Battle is an Art: While falling towards the forest floor in the chapter A Sketch is Created, one of the four falling characters shouts out, "OH MY GODS"
  • Belgariad: Characters will often have swear phrases linked to the god of the people they belong to. Tolnedrans might exclaim "Great Nedra!", Angaraks use various body parts of Torak, such as "Torak's teeth!" or "By the beard of Torak!", Alorns swear on Belar, and Sendars might curse on multiple gods, such as "Belar, Mara and Nedra!" A Melcene once exclaims "Oh, my God!" only for Belgarath to retort "You don't even know who your god is" is because none of the gods chose the Melcene people as followers.
  • J.R. Ward's series, the Black Dagger Brotherhood, invokes this trope like nobody's business. The titular brotherhood, along with the rest of their vampiric race, swear by their deity (who is presumably responsible for all of creation, in their beliefs), a female figure known as the Scribe Virgin, and by the afterlife which they refer to as The Fade, by employing variations like, "by the Virgin!" "Sweet Virgin in the Fade..." etc.
  • Anne Bishop's Black Jewels has "Hell's fire, Mother Night, and may the Darkness be merciful."
  • At the beginning of Thomas Costain's The Black Rose, it is a fad among the university students to pick various obscure saints to swear by.
  • In Brake by Poul Anderson, the captain of a spacecraft on a runaway course out of the solar system swears Per Jovem (By Jupiter) which gives him a "Eureka!" Moment to use the friction of Jupiter's atmosphere to slow them down.
  • The characters in Bravelands have been known to exclaim "Sky and stone!", "Skies above!", "Oh, Great Spirit" (after their god, the Great Spirit), and "great stars". A rhinoceros exclusive one is "horn and hoof".
  • Brave New World:
    • In Ford's name!
    • Crosses having their tops removed to instead represent the Model T, and the calendar reset to begin counting the years at the "Year of Our Ford."
    • And then there's the creative "Ford's in his flivver, all's right with the world."
    • They also believe Henry Ford and Sigmund Freud to have been the same person. The given names are lost in obscurity, and narration mentions that, for reasons unknown, Ford took the name Freud when speaking about human psychology rather than manufacturing.
  • In A Brother's Price there is "Holy Mothers!" and "Gods" and "great Hera's teat".
  • Deconstructed in The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump, in which there are so many actual deities (mostly minor), and said deities are so quick to take oaths in their name seriously, that people are very careful to use only secular (e.g. scatological) swearing to avoid divine chastisement.
  • In Catherine, Called Birdy, Catherine learns that the royal family, rather than saying "God's Wounds!" like everyone else, has their own special swears. Following that, she swears to a different part of God's body every day until her family grows concerned at the level of profanity she's apparently using. After that, she chooses "God's Thumbs!" and sticks with it.
  • The Chalion sword & theology series by Lois McMaster Bujold includes “Five gods!” as a general exclamation that covers all the gods. While any of the five gods may be invoked by name (Father, Mother, Son, Daughter, and Bastard), the most common curses are related to Bastard, his demons, and parts of His divine anatomy.
  • The Chronicles of Dorsa:
    • People in the Empire usually swear by the gods, or Mother Moon (who is apparently one of the more popular deities).
    • Akella swears often by her goddess Preyla, usually exclaiming "Preyla's tit".
  • Sort of used in The Chronicles of Narnia.
    • Instead of using Aslan's name they'll refer to him as "The Lion". (i.e. "By the Lion's mane!"). Characters from England say "By Jove" (a mythical deity they did NOT worship), while the Narnians say "By the Lion" (the deity they know and worship). "By Jove" was a popular expression in England at the time even though the Roman pantheon was not actively worshiped. This is not something specific to humans visiting Narnia. It was a euphemism because many people felt saying "God" or "Christ" was inappropriate.
    • "Dem" and "dam' " are both used by characters to avoid saying "damn", though since "dam' " appears in a quotation (by a 10-year-old girl) it's hard to see how the difference could be made clear in spoken language.
  • In The Chronicles of Prydain, "Great Belin!" is one of sometimes-bard, sometimes-king Fflewder Fflam's favorite exclamations. Although never explained in the books, Belin was the name of an actual Welsh sun god.
  • Arthur C. Clarke:
    • It is then played straight in the third sequel "3001: The Final Odyssey", when Frank Poole (Bowman's crewmate in the first novel) is recovered from space and revived (apparently having been cryogenically frozen by exposure to space), he is shown a recording of Bowman's last moments, with the audio strangled edited to say "By Deus! It's full of stars!". This is explained in the narrative by saying that since all religions are now united in the 31st century, all references to earlier gods have been overwritten with Deus, a single divine entity. (This is quite interesting in the translations of the novel to languages in which "Deus" is simply the word for "God". "By Theos, it is full of stars", is even weirder.)
    • It is also played straight in Clarke's The Songs of Distant Earth, where the inhabitants of Thalassa, having been seeded by machines and then taught science and technology by robotic tutors, never developed the concept of a religion. They are found to lack expletives: the worst one can apparently say is "By Kraken!", the name of the local volcano.
  • Codex Alera
    • The Alerans often swear by "the Great Furies". While they don't technically worship said Furies, they are immensely powerful Physical Gods (some of the nastier ones are Eldritch Abominations in all but name), and the Alerans do have a healthy personal respect for them, even if only the top Citizens know why.
    • They also seem to like using "Crows!" or "Crowsbegotten", given that crows are a symbol of battle and death, given their tendancy to congregate around battlefields to scavenge the dead.
  • Conan the Barbarian
    • Conan swears not only by his own god Crom (and his devils) but by every god he's ever heard of at times. Mitra and Erlik are common — he sometimes invokes "Erlik's brass tool!" when shocked.
    • Red Sonja would frequently swear "By Ishtar and Mitra!"
    • In the Conan the Adventurer series, Snagg would sometimes swear "By Wodan's beard!"
  • The Cosmere, the universe of Brandon Sanderson:
    • In Mistborn:
      • In The Original Trilogy, most characters use "Lord Ruler" as a curse, as he is the God-Emperor of the setting. Kelsier always tells them to stop it, because in swearing by the Lord Ruler, you acknowledge him as your god (rather incongruous if you're rebelling against him). Sazed, however, often swears by "the Forgotten Gods''. They keep swearing by the Lord Ruler after he dies, presumably just out of habit. In the 3rd book, some characters start swearing by the Survivor. Even though Kelsier died before the Lord Ruler did.
      • By the time of The Alloy of Law, three centuries after the original books, characters swear using various references to Ruin, Preservation, and Harmony, and also still swear by the Survivor.
    • Parodied in Warbreaker. The people of Hallandren do not swear by their gods, but by the Iridescent Tones (the force they believe empowers their gods). However, Lightsong, one of the main POV characters, who is a god, finds this annoying, mostly because he thinks "Lightsong the Bold!" would make a really awesome curse. After rambling at length on the topic to his (also divine) Love Interest Blushweaver, she finally demands to know "what in the name of You are are you talking about?"
    • The Stormlight Archive: "Storms", "storming" and "Stormfather" are common curses, referencing the massive highstorms people have to live with (the Stormfather being the living embodiment of the Storm). This also leads to an exchange when Dalinar swears by the Stormfather while speaking to the Stormfather. References to both the Almighty, either referred to as such or occasionally as Honor, or the Heralds of the Almighty are also common, either as a group ("Heralds send that man some wisdom") or individually ("Kalak's breath").
      • In Oathbringer, the Herald Shallash becomes the first character in the entire Cosmere to swear by Adonalsium, the original god of the Cosmere.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses: Characters regularly exclaim "by the Cauldron!" or refer to "the Mother".
  • The titular characters of The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids often swear by their patron goddess Aphrodite, with several variations: "By Aphrodite!", "Great Goddess!" and "By the Goddess!" are the most common.
  • Dante Valentine is prone to swearing by Anubis ("Anubis et'her ka", meaning something like "Anubis preserve my soul" based on context) and Sekhmet ("Sekhmet sa'es"). Justified in that her psychopomp takes the form of Anubis.
  • Various Celtic gods are also sworn by in the Deverry series, as well as "By all the gods!" The favourite oath, however, is "By the black, hairy ass of the Lord of Hell!"
  • Digitesque: Everyone swears by the gods. Even Ada, who is aware that the gods are machines created by humans.
  • Discworld
    • The people say "godsdammit" or "Bigods!" occasionally.
    • "By Io!" rather than "By Jove!" and in one book the exclamation "Oh my god!" prompts the reply "Which one?"
    • In another book, frequent exclamations of "Oh God, what did I hit?" by cart drivers give rise to a god of small animals run over by carts to whom that question may be properly addressed.
    • Inverted in Small Gods where Omnians — members of one of the few monotheistic religions on the Disc — say "Ye god!" rather than "Ye gods!" (which many monotheists on Earth say without even thinking about it).
    • In the same novel Om, the Omnian god, says "Oh, Me!" (Note the caps.) Which wouldn't have been odd if he wasn't a small turtle with a single true worshipper.
    • In one book it explains that this is an important function of gods: it takes a very dedicated atheist to shout "Random fluctuations in the space-time continuum!" or "Outmoded superstition on a crutch!" after hitting his thumb with a hammer. Dwarf gods especially have no other reason for existing, and the dwarves claim to have no religion.
    • Bilious, the "Oh God" of Hangovers, moans "Oh, me..." in moments of extreme suffering.
    • The Oath of the Anhk-Morpork Watch includes several parenthetical instances where recruits may "(insert deity name of his/her choice)". As the Oath has been obsolete ever since the city's last king was beheaded, nowadays the recruits read the text verbatim, "his/her" and "insert" statements included. Vimes in the Night Watch explicitly mentions having all his men recite the oath exactly as written, and does so also after being sent in the past where such formalities are normally not given much attention.
    • Vimes actually insists they do it for a different reason: whoever wrote the Oath was either Too Dumb to Live or doing it on purpose, but there is not one word in the Oath about the Watch obeying the orders of the Patrician/King/whoever-happens-to-be-in-power. Protect. Serve. That's it.
  • In the Doctor Who novel spin-off series The New Adventures (usually called the Benny Books), Bernice Summerfield often swears by the goddess of peace and love, allegedly one of the dominant deities of her period. Strangely, she uses the oath and is even a nominal worshiper despite the fact that she knows for a fact that the deity is false, created as a telepathic projection to be used as a weapon in a war against a violent cult. (In the preceding Doctor Who New Adventures, Roz Forrester would frequently swear "For Goddess's sake!" and similar, and may or may not have been referring to the same one. [In her last appearance she considers taking holy orders at the Temple of the Goddess, but no further information is given.])
  • Dogs of the Drowned City: The dogs are prone to exclaiming stuff like "Bless my treats!", "My snout!", "Thank my master!", or even "Chew my rawhide!" in exasperation, surprise, or relief.
  • This comes up a lot in the web-novel Domina. Everyone seems to have their own unique curses.
    • Vampires reference darkness and blood ("blood and shadow," "deep night"). Vampires also tend to use Romanian, especially for curses; "noapte" ("night") is pretty common. Canians (pyro-vampires) put their own spin on the vampire curses, swearing "burning darkness" and "boiling blood."
    • Angels reference dawn and Heaven ("day and dawn," "Saints above").
    • Giants have been heard swearing "Titan's testes."
    • Derek and Laura swear "silver and gold," which matches their parents' "silver moon and golden sun" but otherwise (explicitly) has no meaning.
    • Akane swears "Musashi's __"
    • Ling uses "Tezuka" in place of "God." She also occasionally uses "velvet Hells," which is a shorter version of "by the velvet-draped halls of Shendilavri," which is a succubus curse. It's a sign she used to be a succubus herself.
    • Seena is a vampire, but she uses demon curses ("Nine Hells" is the most common) because the patron of her orphanage was a demon. Her boss tries to get her to change, with little success.
  • In the Dragaera novels, the hero, Vlad, will sometimes swear by his patron goddess, Verra, or use curses like "Verra-be-damned", which makes sense as she is called the "Demon Goddess." He's particularly fond of the exclamation "Verra's tits!" After realizing both that she hears this and that he can't turn it off even when the pair of them is physically present... he seems to step it up.
  • Flint Fireforge, one of the heroes of the Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy, was fond of exclaiming, "Reorx's Beard!" Reorx being the patron god of the dwarves, he did have one hell of a beard, after all...
  • The mostly atheist Dragonriders of Pern swear by the name of Faranth, and Faranth's egg. More often, their swearing is a product of their environment: "Shells and shards!" or expressions such as "... and the hindmost falls Between."
  • At one point in their history, there was an attempt among The Draka to revive Norse paganism as actual religious practice. The effort failed, but as a result, Draka commonly swear on the names of Norse Gods. "Freya's tits!"
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Harry Dresden frequently uses "Hell's bells!" and "Stars and stones!" out of his deep faith in magic in lieu of an organized religion. In Peace Talks, his elderly mentor gripes that Harry doesn't even know the true meaning of those oaths.
    • The White Court use "Empty Night". Word of God states that the last 3 books will be named after these curses, as there is a very good reason why they are considered curses . . .
    • One member of the White Council, Gatekeeper Rashid, once used the swear "Blood of the Prophet!" (referring to Muhammad) out of shock. Considering his background, it's quite probable that he's a Muslim. In fact, most members of the White Council follow their respective cultural religions and would use the related phrases. Harry is something of an odd duck in that he's quite confident in the existence of the Abrahamic God, agnostic of the various religions of His followers (Harry occasionally works with one or more of His Knights, and has a progressively closer working relationship with an Archangel), and has met a handful of deities over his career; but Harry isn't practicing any religion.
  • In Frank Herbert's Dune series, despite the fact that Muad'Dib and his son Leto II are both worshipped (and both involved in eradicating other religions, especially the latter who was viewed in a more or less monotheistic way), characters frequently exclaim "Gods Below!" throughout the series. (The gods in question are the sandworms, to which Fremen myth attributes with divine or semi-divine character.)
  • The Edge Chronicles have characters swearing "By sky!" and, later, "By earth and sky."
  • In Laurie J. Marks' Elemental Logic series, several characters swear by Shaftal (which, for a change, is not a god but the country where the books take place). However, the Sainnites use the more usual "Gods of hell!", and the half-Sainnite seer Medric often exclaims "Gods of my father!"
  • Elric of Melnibone once exclaimed, "Gods!" and then added quickly, "You'll pardon me, my lords," because he was having a conversation with several gods at the time.
  • Everworld: David shows Hephaestus how to make a wheelchair. When next seen, he claims "By Poseidon's moldy beard, it works!"
  • "By the surly beard of Mrifk" often triggers a pass-it-to-the-next-reader moment in the party-game version of The Eye of Argon.
  • In The Fire's Stone, Aaron is from an area with a monotheistic religion, but Darvish and Chandra both follow ten numbered gods and swear by them. They also have skills and magic associated with each god—Chandra is a Wizard of the Ninth.
  • The Flying Sorcerers by Larry Niven and David Gerrold is a satire in which most of the names are Shoutouts to Creators in the science fiction world. The two suns are Ouells and Virn (Welles and Verne), there's Caff the goddess of dragons, Rot'n'bair the God of Sheep and his arch-enemy Nilsn, Hitch the god of birds, and Elcin, the "great and tiny god of thunder, lightning and loud noises."
  • In Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series novels, characters exclaim "Great space!", "Galaxy!", or "He went space knows where." "Oh my space" is sadly absent.
    • "By Seldon!" or variants is also used by some.
    • In The End of Eternity it's "Time" for the Eternals (used many ways).
    • In the robot short stories, Michael Donovan (an excitable redhead) was known to swear "Space!"
  • Fungus the Bogeyman has Fungus exclaim, "Why, for slime's sake?!" which is particularly strange because slime is what Bogeys drink.
  • Characters from the Gentleman Bastard sequence often use "Twelve Gods!", while Locke and other disreputable characters usually include the god of thieves in the pantheon, making it "Thirteen Gods!" (or "Crooked Warden!" if they're referring to him in particular).
  • In Gold in the Sky, a 1958 sci-fi thriller by Alan E. Nourse, Major Briarton has a habit of exclaiming "By the ten moons of Saturn!" apparently unaware there are actually eighty-two moons around that planet.
  • Guardians of Ga'Hoole:
    • The owls use the name of their god, Glaux, in typical English idioms ("Glaux willing", "Glaux bless", "Oh my Glaux", etc.) as well as some more hilarious variations like "Glaux-in-a-box!"
    • Each species seems to have its own. The wolves use "Lupus", and the bears use "Ursus".
    • In the spinoff series Wolves of the Beyond, the bears have a swear called "Urskadamus!", which means "curse of a rabid bear". Main protagonist Faolan uses it as a curse at one point, and his foster bear mother Thunderheart is surprised that he learned it from her.
  • Harry Potter: Done with Merlin. "Merlin's beard!" or even "Merlin's pants!", and also "Merlin's most baggy Y-fronts". And at one point "Merlin's saggy left—"note . Even muggle-born characters are heard using them. Strangely the character most frequently heard using "Oh my God" or similar phrases is Draco Malfoy, whose exposure to non-wizard culture was minimal. Alternatively, the use of "Merlin" instead of "God" may more or less be censorship by the characters, as they seem to at least celebrate Christian holidays. Draco Malfoy, then, may just be using a harsher phrase than the others.
  • The Heartstrikers: Downplayed. Not only do humans still swear normally, but dragons, who have been pretending to be humans for a thousand years, do the same. Very rarely, they swear "by fire," the magic at the core of every dragon. Likewise, in the sequel series DFZ everyone still swears by God despite there being many, many more gods around now. Broker does at one point swear "blessed city," referencing the Genius Loci he lives in.
  • In Weber's Hell's Gate series, all currently mentioned religions have multiple deities, and one character actually exclaims "Oh, My Gods!".
  • "Gods!" and variations thereof are common in the Heralds of Valdemar series. Characters with mentioned faiths sometimes invoke specific deities; examples include the Windborn, the Star-Eyed Goddess, and Vkandis Sunlord, the latter two having manifested as real characters on various occasions.
  • Shows up in all of Robin Hobb's books.
    • The people of the Six Duchies (and the Red Ship Pirates) have the two deities El and Eda, giving us curses such as "El and Eda in a tangle!"
    • The Jamaillans, on the other hand, believe in Sa, a sort of all-encompassing, bi-gendered deity. This allows for fun expressions like "As sure as Sa's got tits and balls".
    • In The Soldier Son trilogy, which is set in a different world from the Realm of the Elderlings, Gernians swear "By the Good God" ... which sounds a lot like ordinary, real-world curses, but this is actually the name of the "current" deity (as opposed to the old god of balances and death).
  • Pixies in Kim Harrison's The Hollows series tend to swear by "Tink", presumably short for Tinker Bell. Common phrases include "Tink's knickers!" and "Tink's a Disney whore!" In the series, pixies and fairies are racial enemies; according to the pixies (we haven't heard the other side), Tinker Bell was a real faerie who assisted Walt Disney in getting massive amounts of Fanservice in exchange for helping her species become The Fair Folk with Good Publicity. As this drastically affects pixies' ability to live in an urban environment, we have the unusual case of profanity which means exactly what it says: pixies attribute most of their immediate problems and suffering to...
  • Though the religion in question is actually a sect of Christianity, the Church of Humanity Unchained, from Honor Harrington's adopted planet Grayson, evolved a doctrine that was in many ways a reaction to their Death World. As a result, epithets for God on Grayson include the Tester, the Comforter, and the Intercessor. The phrase "Sweet Tester" is quite common. Specifically, it's a different way of envisioning the Holy Trinity - "Tester, Intercessor, and Comforter" = "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost/Spirit."
  • Maya Angelou writes of being whipped by her grandmother for using the phrase "By the way" in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Her grandmother explains after the whipping that Jesus is "the way, the truth and the life", and no one takes the Lord's name in vain under her roof.
  • In Iron Dawn, residents of ancient Tyre naturally use Caananite deities in their curses ("Baal's bloody balls!"). Most aren't shy about using words like "fucking" in everyday speech, because their pagan culture isn't as prudish about sex as our own Christian-influenced era.
  • In the Diana Wynne Jones short story "Dragon Reserve, Home Eight" a character says "Great Tew!" Which is a village in Oxfordshire in real life, albeit probably not in the world where the story is set.
    • Tew (or Tiw) is also the Old English pronunciation/spelling of the Norse god Tyr. As in "Tuesday".
    • Fun fact: Tew is also the Cantonese term for copulate. Essentially, you're cursing, "Great Fuck!" Which is kinda cool in its own way...
  • In the Kane Series characters swear by the different gods or demons. "Shenan's tits!" are quite popular, and so are references to Lord Tloluvin (lord of demons) and his Seven Hells.
  • The King Must Die, set in ancient Greece, had the line, "By the Mother, yes!"
  • In Larry Niven's Known Space, spacers have been known to swear by Brennan's left ear. Murphy is also a popular choice, as is Finagle.
    • In Ringworld, Louis Wu swears by "Cthulhu and Allah!"
    • In another Ringworld book, Louis Wu was trying to get a catatonic Puppeteer to wake up, and in frustration shouted "By Kdapt, Allah and Finagle, I summon thee!"
  • Kushiel's Legacy has a lot of the characters swearing by "Elua's Balls!" or "by Camael's Sword!" or something along these lines.
  • The book The Last Dragon had characters say "By Jesus's blessed tree!" sometimes. According to the author, this was an actual medieval curse.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness takes a brief divergence to discuss a small cult started around an insane Seer called Meshe, which excuses various characters to spout "Meshe's milk!" or "By the tits of Meshe!" whenever surprised or confounded. Both of which remind us that Meshe, although referred to as "he", is really a hermaphrodite like everyone else on the planet (except Genly Ai, who comes from Earth).
  • The Legend of Drizzt: Drizzt Do'Urden, after resolving that the Spider Queen Lolth is a demon in god's clothing and not knowing or really caring about any of the other deities, snarls "May a true god damn you all!" before leaving his family. Drizzt's friends, meanwhile, have battle cries of their own. Wulfgar, a child of a northern barbarian tribe, shouts "Tempus!" (a god of battle); Bruenor invokes Moradain (king of the dwarven gods). Another character in the same world, a priest, often murmurs "Oh my dear Deneir" in shock.
  • In Lawrence Watt-Evans The Legends of Ethshar series, theurgy is a legitimate school of magic where you invoke a specific deity out of about 30 to hopefully do something for you. People naturally exclaim 'Gods!', or 'By all the gods in the sky, sea, and earth!' if the former isn't strong enough.
  • The Lensman series has folk swearing by alien gods, notably the (apparently metallic) Klono: "Great Klono's tungsten teeth!" "Klono's brazen hooves!" "Holy Klono's iridium intestines!" In Gray Lensman, Kinnison offers a defence of swearing by Klono to his wife-to-be (who thinks it rather silly):
    "He's got so much stuff – teeth and whiskers, claws and horns, tail and everything – that he's much more satisfactory to swear by than any other space-god I know of. [...] A man swears to keep from crying, a woman cries to keep from swearing. Both are sound psychology. Safety valves – means of blowing off excess pressure."
  • The Liavek anthologies love this trope. Curses range from "By the Red Faith!" (the most prominent religion in the setting) to the never-explained "Kosker and Pharn!" There's also "By the Levar's future tits!"note  (which becomes "By the Levar's future womanhood," if you're trying not to be vulgar) and "Rikiki's nuts!" which, since Rikiki is a chipmunk-god who spends most of his time eating nuts (except when he's turning people into nuts), is probably meant to be taken literally. There's even a god of casual swearing by name of Ghologhosh, but, alas, no one actually swears by him.
  • The title character of Life of Pi, who puzzles the Indian community he grows up in by practicing Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam at the same time, appeals to "Jesus, Mary, Mohammed, and Vishnu!" in one breath. When a tiger climbs into his lifeboat.
  • Played with in The Locked Tomb series. Characters swear "by God!" and "oh my God!" all the time, but the God in question isn't the Christian God, but a Deity of Human Origin credited with resurrecting the human race After the End 10,000 years ago. Said deity is a major presence in the second book, and he also swears by God. It weirds Harrowhark out a little that God apparently swears on himself, unaware that he's referring to that other God who was worshiped before the first destruction of humanity.
  • Magic University: Magical students sometimes use "Circe's tit!" as an expletive, Circe being a powerful sorceress they seem to revere (the one whom Odysseus and his crew encountered in The Odyssey).
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • In the novel The Brothers' War, Rusko, a Yotian clockmaker, yells "Bok and Mabok!" Justified in that he was trying to make a point about Yotia's religion, which borrows deities from other cultures.
    • In the Ravnica Cycle, characters frequently swear by Krokt, the goblin god of bad luck. It's often used in a manner similar to God or Christ, i.e. "For Krokt's sake" or "Krokt almighty, that hurts".
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen series utilizes this trope, usually by invoking the name of a particular deity alongside a term that is incongruous with them. As an example, a common curse among Malazans is "Hood's breath", Hood being the King of High House Death and thus having no breath to speak of. Variations on "Hood's balls" is another common curse, eg. "Hood's balls on an anvil!" Other cultures swear by different deities, but the pattern tends to stay the same.
  • In the comic sci-fi novel Mallworld, people regularly swear by "the Pope's tits", evidently just so the author can toss the incongruity of a female Pope in on top of all the other weirdness.
  • The Marcus Didius Falco books by Lindsey Davis stick with "Gods", but it's often used by pious characters. More earthy ones say "Balls" or (Marcus's favourite) "Cobnuts". Variations include using specific gods, usually relevant to the situation (i.e. "Juno Moneta!" if you were financially screwed).
  • Mortal Engines gives us Tom Natsworthy's "Oh Quirke!"; Chudleigh Pomeroy's "Great Clio!", Wolf Von Kobold's "By the Thatcher!" and Nimrod Pennyroyal's frankly quite awesome GREAT POSKITT'S HAIRY ARSE!!"
    • In a definite Brave New World shout-out in the Mortal Engines series, Londoners and some other traction city dwellers use "By Clio!" they may also use the odd Ford as well.
    • It should be noted that Clio is actually one of the Muses from Greek mythology. The car is named after her.
  • Lightly subverted in Robert Holdstock's book Mythago Wood. Guiwenneth is a mythological Celtic figure, given life in mid-twentieth-century England. At one point she swears, "by the god Cernunnos", but the narrator soon realizes that she's merely imitating English curses for fun. When she really wants to swear, she does so in her own language and doesn't bring gods into it at all.
  • Certain Lynn Flewelling books have myriad variations on this — for example, "Bilairy's balls!" is used quite frequently in Nightrunner, mostly by rather shocked, less than polite males. To catalogue the rest would probably take a wiki of its own.
  • The Night World Series by LJ Smith has many instances where the characters, particularly witches and members of Circle Daylight, will swear to their Goddess. Jez and Hugh tend to say it a lot, leading to Morgead figuring out that Jez is a Daylighter.
  • In Brian Clevinger's Nuklear Age, the main character, a Cloud Cuckoolander if there ever was one, usually exclaims with Norse references, like "By Odin's beard!" At first, this seems like a parody of the above mentioned Golden Age superheroes and a gag on how out of touch Nuklear Man is. The twist comes when the Dead Serious villain Nihel shows up, heavily implying the Norse gods are real (in some fashion), and Nuklear Man came from their society.
  • October Daye by Seanan McGuire: Characters frequently swear by "Oberon's balls", "Maeve's tits", and something to do with Titania, these being the three deities the Fair Folk are all descended from. Leads to funny, as the Luidaeg, who is actually the offspring of Oberon and Maeve, will swear by "Dad's balls" and "Mom's tits".
  • Of Fire And Starts: The Sixth Hell is often invoked (apparently the worst one, while presumably linked with one of the Six Gods worshiped in the story).
  • One Nation, Under Jupiter: Quite often, usually by Pollux.
  • Some characters in Pale will swear by 'Gods and Spirits', usually people who have grown up in practitioner families. Verona starts doing so part way through the series; presumably because swearing only to God seemed silly after attending the Blue Heron Institute where a god gave a guest lecture on divine magic's use in healing. Avery later picks up the habit as well. Anthem Tedd, raised in a War Mage family, gives the unique swear of "Oh War, put your sword to my throat." when in a petty argument. It seems to be an analogue to "God forbid."
  • Orphans of the Sky:
    • The Ship was originally built by the Jordan Foundation. In the present, the Foundation itself is long forgotten, but the Crew and the Muties both worship "Jordan" as a god and swear by his name. Huff, the leader of the original mutiny, is used in Crew parlance where "Hell" or "devil" might be in modern use; the Muties use him as another god-figure to swear to.
    • As a result of food tending to be scarce on the Ship, both groups also use "good eating" as a general polite farewell.
  • The Pentagon War: Twice, Lt. Colonel Doe says "Plague's poison!" She is a fervent believer in what Human-Centauri stands for, after all.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
    • Done since it's, well, y'know... Either that, or "di immortales", which is the same, but Latin.
      Dionysus: Zeus knows how many more.
      [lightning rumbles]
      Dionysus: Strike that. Even Zeus doesn't know.
    • Percy plays with this in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods. When he's narrating the stories about the Olympians, he has them say things like "Holy me!"
    • Different characters have different variations. "Gods of Olympus" and "Gods of Rome" are popular. Nico di Angelo has his own particular variation, he tends to use "Styx!" as an exclamation, or in place of "God/s".
  • Tamora Pierce, between her Tortall and Circle universes, goes to town with this trope. "Mithros, Mynoss and Shakith!" Others are "Goddess!", "Horse Lords!" and "Great Mother!" Duke Roger in the Tortall universe has a rather amusing bit of dialogue about how he will swear oaths by 'your' gods, who do kill people who break oaths made in their name, but since they have made it abundantly clear that they don't like him he refuses to worship them.
  • In H. Beam Piper's future history, a lot of humans swear by Great Ghu, the Grandfather God of the nonhuman Thorans. (Some other writers have had their characters Shout-Out Piper by invoking Ghu as well.) And in his Alternate History Paratime series, some of the atheists of Home Time Line have adopted the gods of other lines for purposes of venting their emotions.
    Tortha Karf began, alphabetically, to blaspheme every god he had ever heard of. He had only gotten as far as a Fourth Level deity named Allah when a red light began flashing...
  • In The Planeteers, the characters do use "My God", but Penton also swears by multiple gods. Including, on one occasion, "By the Nine Gods of the Nine Worlds, and the multiple deities of space!"
  • Characters do this periodically in The Queen's Thief, occasionally quite humorously, as certain characters take it quite seriously (with good reason):
    Costis: Oh, my god.
    Gen: O my god. You want to call on the god appropriate to the occasion. After all, your god would probably be Miras, light and arrows and all that sort of thing, whereas my god is a god of balance and, of course, preservation of Thieves...
  • Ranger's Apprentice: The minor Skandian deity Gorlog is noted to be a popular one for swearing by, possibly due to his possession of teeth, horns, and a tail.
  • The Roman Mysteries has "By Castor and Pollux" or simply "Pollux!", the latter of which sounds a lot like a more modern word. There are also "Great Neptune's beard!" or "Great Jupiter's eyebrows!".
  • Guy Gavriel Kay's The Sarantine Mosaic: In the Crispin's first scene in Sailing to Sarantium, he screams at an apprentice in a rather colorful manner involving Heladikos' (the in-universe equivalent of Christ) penis and buttocks. Other characters use 'Jad' as their equivalent of the Abrahamic God in ways such as "by holy Jad".
  • At least one book set in ancient Rome by Steven Saylor had the exclamation "Numa's balls!" Numa was the second king of Rome, after the legendary Romulus.
  • In Seeker Bears, bears use exclamations such as "Spirits!", as their religions revolve around spirits but no gods.
  • In Seraphina characters swear by their Saints. Often the curses are rhymed and/or refer a characteristic feature of the saint, like "Blue St. Prue!" (she was literally blue), "St. Daan in a pan!" (he was a martyr, boiled in a pan) or "Sweet St. Siucre!"
  • In A Series of Unfortunate Events' second book The Reptile Room, a panicking Mister Poe goes through a Cluster Oh My Gods which includes Buddha, Zeus and Hera, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
  • The future civilization from Robert Rankin's Sex and Drugs and Sausage Rolls has enough reverence for Charles Darwin that a scientist uses the phrase "Charlie's Beard!"
  • In Shatterpoint, Mace Windu says, "May the Force give me strength," which is noted to be as close to swearing as he ever comes.
  • Shatter the Sky: Characters swear by Tera's bones mostly (presumably a deity they believe in) or wish other people well with "Tera be with you".
  • Characters in A Song of Ice and Fire sometimes exclaim "Seven save us!" (Referring to the seven aspects of the Westerosi God.) Likewise, "Seven hells!" is a common curse. Oaths are usually sworn to or by "the old gods and the new" (the new gods being the Seven and the old being the animistic gods of the North) or "in sight of gods and men." Averted by the monotheistic followers of R'hllor, the Lord of Light, who will sometimes correct those who refer to "gods" in the plural.
  • Part of the arc words of the Shulamite from the Song of Songs is "by the gazelles or the does of the field" that she wants the daughters of Jerusalem to swear by.
  • The Star Trek Novel 'Verse has many:
    • The Betazoid "Great Fire!" and "By the First/Third/appropriate number House!"
    • The Efrosian Xin Ra-Havreii sarcastically replies to comments that the planet he's on is pleasant with "yes, yes, a virtual Endless Sky you've brought us to".
    • The Tellarite "By Kera and Phinda!"
    • Some Cardassians swear on Oralius.
    • Andorian "By Uzaveh!", "by Thori!" or "By the First Kin!"
    • The Nausicaans' "Four Winds" (which is an extension of the original Shout-Out of their name) Savonigar's tegol, "free at last from the prison of his flesh, soared with the Wind, to the Heart of the Sky, where his ancestors awaited his arrival".
    • The inhabitants of Yakaba are good, Kolk'r-fearing people.
    • The Selenean "Spines of the Mothers!"
    • The Damiani "By Ho'nig"
    • Romulan "Elements!" Originally appeared in the Rihannsu novels, in reference to a Romulan animistic belief in the four elements dating to their schism from the Vulcans.
    • Choblik "By the Grace of the Great Builders" (overlaps with Thank The Maker, given that Choblik are cyborgs who were non-sapient until the Builders installed their implants).
    • The Koas worship The Architect of Time.
    • The Trill "Maker of All Things!"
    • The Bolians have the Vein of Mystery.
    • The sacred Ferengi prayer "this is my final offer!", given to the Blessed Exchequer.
  • The Sky-Dogs are not technically gods but they're used this way in Survivor Dogs. Characters say things like "Thank the Sky-Dogs" and "In the name of the Sky-Dogs."
  • Tailchaser's Song:
    • There's a great many used throughout the novel. In general, "Harah!" is exclaimed most often. Others include: "Skydancer's/Blueback's/Fela's Whiskers!", "By the Tails of the First Born", "Harah knows", "For the love of Whitewind", "Tails and nails", "Dewclaws", "Teats on a tom", "Blueback's Hindbristles", "Skydancer's Ears and Tears", "Heavenly Viror", and "Dugs of the Allmother". Most of these refer to famous kings, queens, or mythical cats, rather than the creator God Meerclar Allmother.
    • One of Hearteater's minions, who can't stand the sun, exclaims "By the Blood-light!"
    • Amusingly, Lord Firefoot (one of the first cats created) uses "By my mother!"
  • Tasakeru: This is used frequently by the characters, as their whole society formed after the appearance of three Gods. Each species has their own unique mythology and names for the Gods, as well.
  • In Fiona Patton's Tales of the Branion Realm series, many characters worship a fire god, and use expressions such as "scorch it," or "that blazing bastard."
  • In A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones, the people from Time City (essentially far-future) are very ceremonious atheists. Jonathan asks Vivian to "give your word of honour on the god Mao or Kennedy or Koran, or whatever you worship". Vivian, who comes from 1939 and therefore has no idea who Mao or Kennedy are, responds with "I give you my Bible oath."
    • Citizens of Time City sometimes say "Great Time!"
  • Thieves' World series got their share of swearing, including mentions of some deity's armpits and whatnot.
  • Truth Series: First Truth and its sequels have "Ashes!" used as a swearword, referring to cremation; characters will also sometimes say things like "By the eight puppies!" or "By the Navigator's Wolves," both of which seem to refer to a constellation very similar to the Big Dipper. Expressions like "Burn me to ashes" and "The Navigator's Wolves should hunt me/him/her" are also common.
  • In Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses novels, characters actually don’t swear by their gods (ironically, since much of the population doesn’t seem to care what the gods think of them) but by various levels of hell. Curses range from "red hell!" all the way up to "Black and red and silver and opal hells!", in the case of one very frustrated character.
  • Villains by Necessity: Arcie often swears by the thief gods Baris and Bella. For instance, he says "Baris's balls!" when surprised or alarmed.
  • David Weber's The War Gods:
    • Many characters use indirect references to the Gods (such as "By The Harp" being a reference to the goddess of music), but the main characters tend to use the name of the god they follow as a battle cry.
    • Many characters in the series also refer to the evil gods when cursing: "Phrobus!" or "what in Fiendark's name..." for example. This is more the equivalent of using "the Devil!" as a curse, since most of the characters who do this aren't followers of the Dark Gods.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Many novels have phrases such as "Golden Throne!" or "By the Throne," references to the Golden Throne of the God-Emperor of Man.
    • And then there's the very enthusiastic Khornate variation: "Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!". Preferably spoken in ALL CAPS.
      • Which has led to an entertaining Slaaneshi mutation: "Porn for the Porn God!"
    • "Blood for the Blood God!" "Harriers for the Cup!"
    • Followers of the Emperor and Chaos Gods sometimes swear by a deity's body part. One (from the Ciaphas Cain books) is "Emperor's bowels!", and another that popped up once is "Khorne's teeth!"
    • In an interesting variation, the Infantryman's Uplifting Primer (Damocles Gulf Crusade edition) states that it is considered punishable to utter 'By the Golden Throne' or variations thereof when exiting facilities catering to the exit of bodily wastes/toilets.
    • The warp is often substituted for hell. In the setting, the warp is hell.
    • The Eldar are not shown enough for these to become commonplace, but they probably do swear by Khaine, or Asuryan, or Isha, or one of their many other deities.
    • Orks will often invoke Gork, Mork, or both.
    • Tau will sometimes invoke the Ethereals or the Greater Good.
  • Cats in Warrior Cats do not believe in deities, however they do have afterlives and do worship their ancestors. StarClan is the Clan equivalent of heaven. Phrases such as "Dear StarClan!", "What in StarClan's name is happening here?", "StarClan knows", "Great StarClan!", "May StarClan light your path", and at one point "StarClan's kits!" have been used throughout the series.
  • Elaine Cunningham once wrote "One of my personal goals with the Waterdeep novel is come up with innovative curses that don't sound silly or stilted." in a discussion of language flavors supporting a setting or shattering Suspension of Disbelief.
  • The rabbits in Watership Down often swear by their sun god Frith, occasionally using constructions such as "Frith in a pond!" or "Frith in a treetop!" At one point, Fiver exclaims "O embleer Frith!" in exasperation; given that "embleer" is a strong insult in the rabbit language, this is probably downright blasphemous.
  • The lions in Louise Searl's The Way of Kings (2021) swear by their mythical ancestor, Simba, using such phrases as "Simba's claws!" and "By Simba's mane!"
    • In Kona's Song by the same author, the wolf characters similarly swear by their ancestors.
  • In The Wheel of Time series, the dominant religious belief is in the Creator and the Light, a never-seen force which is at war with the Dark One, leading to many familiar English idioms substituting "the Light" for God ("the Light bless you", "the Light preserve us", "thank the Light", "the Light willing", etc.).
  • In The Wicked Years, most Ozians swear to either Lurline or the Unnamed God. The former is more rare due to the worship of Lurline being scorned as paganism in modern Oz.
  • The Witchlands:
    • People who worship Noden often invoke him or curse by the Hagfishes, his Psychopomps.
    • Iseult often swears by the Moon Mother.
  • Wolf Hall is set in Tudor England, and fitting the setting, characters frequently swear by Jesus and various saints, including several unusual/blasphemous oaths such as Walter Cromwell's exclamation of "Creeping Christ"; Norfolk's swearing by the "thrice-beshitten shroud of Lazarus"; and Thomas Cromwell's swearing by his patron saint and referencing the "bleached bones of Becket".
  • In Wings of Fire, the dragons often swear by the three moons of their world.
  • In The Zodiac Series, characters often swear by Helios, the Zodiac System's sun. "Holy Helios" is a particularly common exclamation.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Liz Lemon of 30 Rock likes "By the hammer of Thor!"
    • That might be a reference to The Mighty Thor, given her notorious nerdiness.
    • Also, in a conversation with a Hindu engineer, Jack Donaghy exclaims, "My God!" The engineer enquires, "Which one?"
  • Alien Nation has the Newcomer Tenctonese swearing by one of the two gods of one of their main religions; the Tenctonese George Francisco usually curses "Celine!", but, notably, the initially bigoted human companion of Francisco, Matt Sykes, is heard more than once exclaiming "Andarko!"
  • In The Almighty Johnsons, this is averted, but the aversion is lampshaded.
    Agnetha: I've always found it funny when gods say "Oh my God." They should really be saying "Oh Me."
  • Babylon 5
    • Aliens tend to swear by important figures in their own religion: "by G'Quan", "in Valen's name" and "Great Maker" for G'Kar, Delenn and Londo respectively. G'Quan and Valen later became important in the plot, though the Great Maker has yet to show up.
    • Humans who join the Rangers also use "in Valen's name".
    • Among Babylon 5 fans, "Great Maker" is a nickname for J. Michael Straczynski.
  • Battlestar Galactica has "godsdammit" and "Oh my gods!". A lot. Though "Jesus!" has been inadvertently ad-libbed by the actors. Also in the mini-series, as-yet-unrevealed Cylon agents would talk about God in the singular without the other characters thinking it was strange. There's an "Oh my God, they're Cylons!" heard on one occasion too. Monotheism existed in the Colonies so it is normal that some human characters utter it (or possibly that particular character has a particular devotion to a particular deity—starship pilots would pray to Poseidon before battle, for example). We just don't know how common it was by the time of the holocaust (in Caprica, its sheer existence is borderline offensive). The cases in the Miniseries were probably more the result of the human belief system not being fully shaped by the writers yet.
  • In the British TV — and later stage shows — series Bottom, Richie tends to use the devil's genitals as swear terms. "What in the name of Satan's portion!"
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • In later seasons, Willow will swear by the Goddess, or by Hecate.
    • And Xander let out at least one "Merciful Zeus!" and one "Sweet fancy Moses!".
    • In the comic Season Eight, Buffy has used "Sweet muppety Odin".
  • Whenever something goes quite wrong on Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe often takes the producer's name in vain: "Barsky!"
    • When something unexpected happens, he will also exclaim "Shazam!", thus invoking six gods at once.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Farscape. Zhaan says "By the Goddess!"
  • Played for Laughs once on Firefly. When Saffron tries seducing Wash in “Our Mrs. Reynolds”, he says in Mandarin “holy mother of God and all her wacky nephews!”
  • Similarly to the books, Game of Thrones will occasionally use this trope. For example, in one episode Jon Snow says "Seven Hells!".
  • In Glee, Puck gets trapped in a porta-potty and shouts "Buddha, Allah, Satan, help me!" while struggling to get out.
  • Hannah Montana: When Robbie Ray is asked to predict the winner of a DDR contest between his mother and the Queen of England, he clasps his hands, looks skyward, and says "please, Lord, let it be the Queen!"
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and spin-offs Xena: Warrior Princess and Young Hercules often used such phrases as "By the gods!" and "Gods above!" Autolycus also occasionally shouted, "Sweet mother of Zeus!"
  • In Jessie, Ravi often says "oh my gods" or "thank the gods."
  • In Killjoys, the characters often say "What the hells".
  • Various characters in The Legend of William Tell swear by various parts of Jormanda(r). "By Jormanda's scared knuckle!" Some of them also use 'the powers.' Will himself occasionally speaks about Kalem this way. "Kalem is watching over us; there's a mist coming down."
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Disa occasionally shouts "Aulë's beard!!!" when she gets frustrated.
  • Inverted For Laughs in The Mandalorian when two Stormtroopers (Played by Adam Pally and Jason Sudeikis) hold Baby Yoda captive in a bag. One of them wants to get a good look at Baby Yoda, and gets so annoying that the other one mutters "Oh my God..."
  • Married... with Children has Al cry out (as a catchphrase) "Great Caesar's Ghost!"note  and (as a one-time thing) "Sweet Baby James!" owing to the pain of his circumcision.
  • Earl from My Name Is Earl would often shout out, "Holy Moses!" While Joy made her catchphrase, "Oh Snap!"
  • Rohan's catchphrase on The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg, a.k.a. Power Rangers IN ANCIENT IRELAND, was "By Dagde!"
  • HBO's Rome has the especially spicy "Juno's cunt", which apparently was a real Roman curse, although it is usually translated as "Juno's loins" by classicists.
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch about Jim Morrison et al. in "Rock and Roll Heaven": Jesus (Will Ferrell) as their manager talks about discovering them in a bar and blurting "Oh my Dad!"
  • In the Jeff Dunham Comedy Central special Spark of Insanity, his puppet Achmed the Dead Terrorist utters this line:
    "Goddamn it." (audience laughs a little) "Uh, I mean, 'Allah damn it." (audience laughs a lot)
  • Likewise, Spartacus: Blood and Sand has graced us with phrases such as "Jupiter's cock!"
  • Happened constantly in Stargate SG-1, given that the Goa'uld (and later, the Ori) claim to be gods and their human (and Jaffa for the former) servants believe this to be true.
  • In an early Star Trek episode, "The Man Trap", Sulu thanked Yeoman Rand for serving him lunch with "May the Great Bird of the Galaxy favor your nest."
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which prominently features the religious Bajorans, frequently had "Walk with the Prophets." ("May God be with you.") or "By the Prophets!"
    • And Klingons sometimes exclaim "By the hand of Kahless!"
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • In one episode, Queen Rhea of Daxam (Mon-El's mother) comes down to Earth dressed as a human businesswoman and tries to convince Lena to help her develop a teleportation device she supposedly invented. Lena becomes suspicious when Rhea exclaims "Thank the gods!" during dinner (most Americans are monotheistic), and her suspicions are confirmed, when she analyzes the device schematics and sees that it requires an element Earth's science isn't even close to discovering, and she then uses the alien-detecting device on Rhea. To her credit, Rhea doesn't deny it, realizing her blunder at dinner.
    • Kara occasionally swears by Rao, the Kryptonian creator god. Though even among people who know she's a Kryptonian, she only does it rarely.
  • This sketch from That Mitchell and Webb Look has several characters making frequent and creatively diverse invocations of "Vectron", until one of them awkwardly asks what they're talking about since he took a day off sick three weeks earlier and they were all doing it when he got back...
  • An exasperated Captain John Hart swears "Sweet Goddess, that's all I need!" in Torchwood.
  • Utopia Falls: Gaia, New Babyl's founder, is invoked with phrases such as “may Gaia watch over you” and “Oh my Gaia”.
  • On The Watch (2021), Captain Sam Vimes swears "My Gods" after seeing the Noble Dragon for the first time.
  • On Will & Grace, Jack did this often. Wonder Woman's "Suffering Sappho!" happened at least once, but he was more often inclined to shout out a three-named celebrity or pop culture phrase with three words. Such as "Jennifer Love Hewitt! What's going on here." Considering how much of a pop-culture junkie Jack was, it could almost be argued that celebrities were gods to him.
  • The Witcher (2019): The name of the goddess of femininity and motherhood Melitele is sometimes used when swearing. Note that, in the books, Jaskier claims Melitele's cult will never end, because women in childbirth need to swear. He's probably being facecious.

  • Gorillaz bassist Murdoc Niccals swears in Satan's name a lot.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible has God Himself swearing by His own name, making this trope Older Than Feudalism. Justified that He's making a promise, announcing His judgement, or providing commands to His people. The writer of the Book of Hebrews points out that when God swears an oath by Himself, it is immutable and it will be fulfilled.
    • Jeremiah 22:5 "But if you do not heed these commands, I swear by Myself—declares the LORD—that this palace shall become a ruin."
    • Matthew 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
  • There is an account of an early Christian martyr who was sentenced to death by drowning — before she had been baptized. (At the time, Christians were unsure whether an unbaptized person could go to Heaven, no matter how faithful they were.) The legend goes that when she was thrown in the sea, Jesus appeared over her and said, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of Me, and of the Holy Spirit."

  • Hey! Jake and Josh:
    • In the Cool Kids Table Harry Potter-themed game Hogwarts: The New Class, McGonagall mutters "by all the gods in all the heavens" under her breath at the children's antics, which makes Shannon wonder if wizards even have gods.
    • When speaking in-character in Pokémon World Tour: United, characters are more likely to invoke Arceus than God, as the Alpha Pokémon is the closest thing the Pokemon world has to a capital-G God.
  • My Dad Wrote a Porno has the somewhat confusing recurring bit of Belinda Blumenthal regularly swearing "By the Norse Gods!" No, she doesn't follow Asatru. Yes, the hosts are just as confused as you are.

  • Dimension X:In episode thirty-one, an adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's "Universe", characters tend to swear by the name of Jordan, such as "For Jordan's sake!" and "Ghost of Jordan!"
  • Expressions like "Zarquon's knees" are used in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978). "Zark" and "zarking" are used as expletives in the books; Adams has confirmed that this is derived from "Zarquon". Subverted in one of the radio episodes, where Zaphod exclaims of "Holy Zarquon's singing fish," and Ford asks for an explanation of the phrase:
    Zaphod: There's no ground, Ford! We're miles up in the air!
    Ford: Did you say fish?
    Zaphod: Singing fish!
    Ford: Where?
    Zaphod: It's just an expression! Holy Zarquon's singing fish!
    Ford: It must be a highly specialized expression then.
    Zaphod: What?
    Ford: Very specific. Not handy in general usage.

  • "Dios!" was a common invocation for Avelians in pre-v5 Open Blue. It doesn't really help that 'Dios' is simply Spanish for "God", but El Dios himself is actually not that normal of a deity... As of v5, it's been replaced by "By Zod!"

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pathfinder's released multiple pieces of information on various religions in its setting, including sayings for several faiths. More than a few of these are curses, such as "Sweet barleybrew!" for followers of Cayden and "Blessed be the mother!" for worshippers of Lamashtu.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade's vampires, when they aren't using other curses, will often use the name of Caine, the First Vampire, in their curses, such as "Caine's blood!"
  • Humans in Warhammer 40,000 tend to invoke the Emperor, the Golden Throne, or Terra. Eldar will invoke their gods, sometimes even the dead ones. Tau will sometimes invoke the Ethereals or the Greater Good. Orks will invoke Gork, Mork, or both. And that's all before the myriad followers of Chaos. 40K has a lot of them, really. This is better covered in the 40K sub-entry in Literature above.
  • Similarly, humans in Warhammer use Sigmar, Ulric, Taal, Morr, Shallya, Verana, Ranald, Manann, Myrmidia, and others in many curses and exclamations. Norscans in the far north tend to invoke the Chaos Gods in the same way, but as they are Vikings, their curses and exclamations take on a very Nordic flavour, and often will they swear by "Khorne's blood!", much like a Viking swearing by Odin's blood which fell when he hanged himself on Yggdrassil. More often, they'll just roar out 'KHORNE!' when they're killing things.
    "By Khorne's blood! Let me die with a sword in my hand!"

  • Antigone: Creon actually says "Be Zeus my witness" at one point, making this Older Than Feudalism.
  • Hercules, Castor, and Pollux were such common objects of swearing that in the plays of Plautus and Terence (probably following colloquial usage) invocations of them appear (throughout dialogue) in the semi-degenerated forms "mehercle", "edepol", and "ecastor". "By Jupiter" is a more serious oath, but not at all uncommon.
  • The Apocolocyntosis by Seneca derives some of its humor from the fact that this kind of swearing was very gendered in Ancient Rome. At one point Clotho, one of the (female) Fates, swears “By Hercules!”. Given that Hercules was considered a paragon of virility and swearing by his name was a very masculine oath in Ancient Rome, this has the effect of making her seem incredibly butch. (The closest modern equivalent would be Bokukko in Japanese). At another point, the Emperor Claudius (who the play is dedicated to making fun of) swears “By Pollux!” which is an extremely feminine oath and has the opposite effect, of making him come across as Camp Gay.
  • In Aristophanes we see that men and women swear differently.
    • In Thesmaphorazuzae a man is disguising himself as a woman to sneak into a meeting of a women's mystery cult trips over the hem of his dress and says 'By Zeus!' His friend and co-conspirator reminds him that while in drag he must remember to say 'By Hera.'
    • In Lysistrata there are several bits of dialog between the men and women that play with this.
    • Non-gendered version in Clouds by Aristophanes. A man who has been put into financial difficulty by horseracing suddenly breaks his introspection to ask his son if he loves him. "Yes, by Poseidon!" "Not the god of horses!"
  • In The Music Man, Zaneeta Shinn frequently exclaims "Ye gods!" as a catchphrase.
  • Whether or not you actually have a taboo against swearing by "God", creative curses are good for characterization: in William Shakespeare's Othello, Manipulative Bastard Iago swears "by Janus" — the two-faced god.
  • Wicked replaces the word "God" with "Oz" For example, "Thank Oz you're alive" as opposed to "Thank God."


    Video Games 
  • Several examples in the Baldur's Gate series, invoking the Forgotten Realms pantheon.
    NPC in a brothel: By Sune's boobies, this place is heaven!
  • Borderlands:
    • A few characters in Borderlands 2 use this trope with Handsome Jack, the CEO of Hyperion, with such terms as "By Jack" or "As Jack is my witness". While he isn't an actual god, he is the head of the biggest MegaCorp in the game and is enough of an egomaniac to have a god complex.
    • Several characters will swear by "the Angel", referencing the Guardian Angel who guided the original Vault Hunters to the Vault.
  • In Bound by Flame, the swearing is generally on par with modern speech, though any reference to "God" is changed to "Gods". This leads to the particularly amusing-sounding "godsdammit".
  • In Carmen Sandiego's Great Chase Through Time, Yuri Gagarin uses, "by Lenin's whiskers."
  • In Coffee Talk 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly, Lucas tends to swear in the name of Zeus or the gods in general.
  • Soviet troops in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 occasionally say things like "This Lenin-forsaken place".
  • Dead In Vinland has characters swearing by the Norse gods. Moira in particular shows a Dragon Age-like creativity in this regard with expressions like "By Loki's shiny buttocks" and Gudrun's no slouch either with "by Surtr's flaming farts."
  • In Deus Ex: Invisible War, the Knights Templar faction utter curses like "Baphomet preserve me!" when injured.
  • In Diablo III, Lyndon uses this once:
    Lyndon: Wait — the relic is a fake! Gods, I should have known.
  • In Dragon Age, most human swears are by the Maker or Andraste ("By the Maker!" "Andraste's blood!"); city elves, who are largely influenced by human culture, are also prone to these. Dwarves, meanwhile, swear by their ancestors, and Dalish elves swear by the creators.
    • A favorite from Dragon Age: Origins:
      Shianni: Andraste's ass, you'd think I'd learn some social graces.
    • Andraste's knickers also make an appearance starting in the second game. Isabela adds "Andraste's granny-panties!" to the list in the Mark of the Assassin DLC.
    • Varric's reaction to finding out that Meredith had the mind-warping lyrium idol forged into a sword? "Andraste's dimpled buttcheeks!"
    • One of Alistair's curses overlaps with Unusual Euphemism: "Andraste's knicker-weasels!"
    • Lots of enemy mooks will shout "Andraste's tits, they got me!" when injured in Dragon Age II. Dragon Age: Inquisition adds Blackwall's "Maker's balls!"
  • In the forums for Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress, people will use Armok to swear. For example "By Armok's beard!" Also, "Holy Carp!" is a common expression. The carp aren't actually gods, but they are among the most feared animals in the game.
  • Elden Ring has a single, glorious example:
    Blackguard Big Boggart: Marika's tits, you must be hungry!
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • "By the Nine!" is a common one throughout the series, referencing the Nine Divines.
    • Daggerfall (at least) has a bag of context-appropriate oaths, as well as a syntax for plugging a random one into dialogue.
    • Morrowind has "B'vek" (mentioned in a few books), a contraction of "By Vehk" (as in Vivec, one of the three Tribunal deities).
    • Oblivion:
      • A number of characters will frequently say "For the love of Azura!" It's rather strange actually considering Cyrodiil does not look kindly on Daedra worship but nearly every NPC will say it. It may have something to do with, while Daedric worship is not looked all that kindly upon, Azura is fairly commonly seen as one of the less malevolent Daedra.
      • "By Azura, by Azura, by Azura, it's the Grand Champion! I can't believe it's you! Standing here, next to me!"
    • In Skyrim, after worship of Talos is banned, some NPCs instead use "By the Eight!"
      • A few scattered similar comments could be found beforehand — most prominently, references to the Eight-and-One (Talos coming in after the Eight Divines, so 8+1 Divines).
      • Similarly, Nords will also use "By Ysgramor!" or "Ysmir's beard!" as an exclamative. Ysgramor is a legendary Nord hero, and Ysmir is the Nordic aspect of Talos. They'll also ocassionaly swear by other old Nordic deities, with "Shor's Bones!" being particularly common.
      • Neloth in the Dragonborn DLC has several, swearing by Malacath's toenails, Malacath's hairy knuckles, Dagon's eyeballs, and the Red Mountain.
      • At the beginning of the game, General Tullius exclaims "What in Oblivion is that?!" upon seeing a dragon for the first time in centuries.
  • Emerald City Confidential has characters swearing by Lurline (a fairy queen whom Land of Oz fanon has upgraded to goddess status).
  • Final Fantasy XIV uses "The Twelve" as a general epithet. More specifically, Nald'thal was named largely because the lore team wanted to be able to use "Thal's Balls" in the dialog. Uses of phrases like "Gods be good" and "Godsdamnit" also pop up from time to time.
  • Fire Emblem
  • Freedom Force's Mentor often utters "Suns of Shakar" and "Rings of Reznor".
  • One occurs in Game of Thrones (Telltale) second episode, where Asher's uncle, thought to be a continent away, shows up and assists him and Beshka get out of an ambush.
    "What in all the gods of fire and fuck?!"
  • Glitch took place in a world that had been created by eleven giants. Because of this, the term was "Oh My Giant(s)!" (which, handily, is still OMG).
  • Kratos in God of War is heard whispering "By the gods..." more than once. When he's not just screaming "ARES!", "ATHENA!", or the name of some other specific god, that is.
  • Gods Will Be Watching: As the title implies, the culture of the future appears to be polytheistic. Common phrases are modified accordingly.
  • Granblue Fantasy: One of the skills Pengy is notable for, is named "Oh My Bahamut!". Which is rather fitting for the trope, since Bahamut is considered as the top god in the world of Granblue.
  • In Guild Wars, the NPCs swear by the specific Gods of Tyria: Dwayna, Balthazar, Grenth, Lyssa, and Melandru. Which of the five depends on the situation and the character's profession.
  • In Hades, characters in the Underworld swear by "Blood and Darkness". Given most of them are gods, it'd be pretty strange for them to swear by themselves, though Zagreus does often swear by his father's name, often facetiously.
    Zagreus: In the name of someone very sore right now.
  • In Halo, the Covenant, being the religious zealots that they are, invoke the name of the Forerunners they worship, their Prophets, or the titular ringworlds. "By the rings!" is one of the more common ones.
  • This isn't used in the original Japanese-created Harvest Moon games (now under the new name Story of Seasons), but the Natsume titles use this trope. For example, phrases like "oh-my-goddess" and "honest-to-goddess" pop up. They're both in reference to the Harvest Goddess.
  • The New Hiigarans/Kharakians of Homeworld have developed an extensive repertoire themed around their 4000-year desert world of exile. This is mostly seen in the dialogue of Kiith Somtaaw units in Cataclysm:
    Acolyte Pilot: (When destroyed by a non-Beast enemy) Curse you back to Kharak!
    KUUN-LAN Command: Regret?! We regret the loss of the whole sand-cursed galaxy!
  • Horizon Zero Dawn:
    • The Nora tribe worship an entity they call All-Mother, so references to her are very common. In addition to obvious phrases like "All-Mother be praised," one of their most common sayings is "from your lips to All-Mother's ears," denoting something obvious.
    • The Carja worship the Sun and view it as a source of truth, so references to both are common. "No shadows beneath a noonday sun" means "it's impossible to deny the truth any longer."
    • The Oseram are universally smiths and, while we don't get too much detail on their religion, apparently hold forges to be sacred. "Flame of my forge" is a common exclamation, and "steel before iron" ("put the strong in front") is a common boast.
  • Characters in Jak and Daxter often exclaim "By the Precursors!" The mythical warrior Mar's name is also sometimes used as an oath: "Thank Mar you're here!" Subverted in one glorious moment of Jak 3: when learning that the Precursors are actually ottsels Jak mutters a simple, dumbfounded "Oh my God."
  • The religion in King of the Castle revolves around worship of the Ninth God and fear of the Seven Hells, so common exclamations of shock or disgust include "By the Ninth!" or "Depths below!"
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • "A War of Spirit," the twelfth Scenario of the Legend Mode campaign in Hyrule Warriors, sees Zelda utter "By the goddesses..." note  when an unseen force (presumably Ganondorf's magic) renders her temporarily incapable of moving.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has the Stable managers saying "oh, for the love of Hylia" if Link tries to register an animal other than a horse (e.g. deer or bears).
  • In the roguelike Liberal Crime Squad, recruiting Liberals in your Crime Squad sometimes has them exclaim "Oh my Science! Is there anything I can do to help?", a pure case of Hollywood Atheist being parodied.
  • Mass Effect
    • Many asari swear by "the Goddess". Upon reading the codex, it is revealed that said goddess is named Athame. It also reveals that worship of said goddess is not the most popular asari religion, despite the fact that numerous asari make mention of her and none make mention of siari, the apparent dominant religion. (Whether that's because siari, being based on Buddhism, has no gods to speak of or because the codex was probably written after most of the dialogue was is up to you.) It is possible that "the Goddess" simply became part of common asari speech even for asari who did not worship Athame, similar to atheists who say "goddammit".
    • Samara's use of "the Goddess" in other contexts indicates that she likely worships Athame.
    • Mass Effect also has a human saying Thank the Maker, possibly either as a Shout-Out to Star Wars or as an internal reference to Dragon Age, another BioWare game that would have been in development alongside Mass Effect (although Dragon Age came out later, and the use of "The Maker" there could easily have been a Star Wars reference as well). The codex also states that the discovery of alien ruins on Mars had a major impact on human religions, and started a few. The Maker may be the deity of a Prothean-inspired religion.
    • Mass Effect 2 has Thane's son Kolyat speak this phrase verbatim at one point. It's his reaction to Shepard killing his hostage.
    • Quarians will sometimes use the word "keelah" or "keelah se'lai" in this context. In the third game, Tali explains that the closest translation is "By the homeworld I hope to see someday."
    • Turians believe in that groups or areas have spirits which go beyond the individual. Garrus will occasionally mutter, "Spirits!" as an oath.
  • Numerous Minecraft custom maps and Machinima that feature Churches or other real world-esque locales with NPCs or dialogue would replace "God" with Notch, the screenname of former lead designer Markus Persson. A good example would be The Shadow of Israphel series.
    Knight_Peculier: In Notch's name!
    Xephos/Lewis: No, no Simon, I worship at the Church of Notch, like everyone else.
  • Monkey Island:
    • Characters substitute "Blackbeard" and "Neptune" (and sometimes "Poseidon") for "God" ("Neptune's navel, that was a close one", "Now why in the name of Neptune's hangnails would I let you borrow this priceless artifact of a long-dead civilization?", "Neptune's beard!", "I said quit yer whimpering and grow some barnacles, for Blackbeard's sake!", "Nothing yet, thank Poseidon!"). The only exception, however, is Edward Van Helgen in The Curse of Monkey Island:
    Van Helgen: You must take an oath now, before man and God, that you will never ever again sing in public.
  • Raiden from the Mortal Kombat series exclaims "By the Elder Gods!" as his go-to exclamation when shocked. Liu Kang takes on this trait after becoming his successor in Mortal Kombat 1.
  • At one point in Mother 3, Fassad exclaims "Oh my pork!"
  • The Neverwinter Nights series has a lot of these.
    • Even the ruler of Neverwinter, Lord Nasher, gets one in the second game at the start of Act 2:
      Lord Nasher: By every god and his mother, what a fool I was to sign anything bearing Luskan's seal.
    • Aldanon says "Great Tyr!" when you finish telling him your story in the first chapter.
    • In West Harbor a militiaman says, "Cyric's blood!" in one of the cutscenes. Meanwhile, Khelgar Ironfist's "swear" emote has him say, "By Tyr's right buttock!"
  • Octopath Traveler: "Gods" is used in place of "god" in swears, giving us words like "godsdamned".
  • In The Outer Worlds, people swear by the Law, which are the rules the Scientists believe the Architect set down to set the universe in motion.
  • Sakuna Of Rice And Ruin: Sakuna, as a goddess herself, can do this to herself, as in one dinner conversation:
    Look, if I have to watch two literal children flirt in front of me, I shall destroy this house with my divine powers, so help
  • Forgotten RPG Shadow Madness has "Great Keerg!"
  • Skies of Arcadia places a significant amount of importance on the six moons surrounding the planet. Each of the main characters shouts "Moons, give me strength!" when casting spells, and many characters use the word "moons" in place of "gods."
  • Keeping with the Splatoon series' trend of alluding to certain words with fish puns, Splatoon 2 has Pearl say "Oh my cod".
  • Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario 64 have phrases like "Oh, my stars!" and "Thank the stars!" Later Mario RPGs use Gosh Dang It to Heck! instead.
  • Tales of Symphonia once cut off someone at "Oh my...". While that world is monotheistic, it actually has a goddess, and wouldn't sound right. Oddly, Knight of Ratatosk/Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World has characters simply say "Oh my god!" a couple times.
  • Zig-zagged in Telepath Tactics. Most characters tend to use "Crucius" in places where "Jesus Christ" would be appropriate, though they'll also use "oh my god" and such. It's a bit unclear what the significance of this is. Lissit like to use "omisigah," which, according to the manual, means something along the lines of "I am cursed by my ancestors."
  • Soldiers in Templar Battleforce will swear by their lineage, or by their ancestor Shalun.* The fantasy world of the Thief series features several religious factions, chief among them the Pagans, Hammerites, and Mechanists. Each of these has their own variations of the trope. For example, when surprised or shocked, Hammerites tend to invoke "By the Builder!" or "By the Builder's name!" and the Pagans tend to exclaim "Woodsie!" (one of the terms for their deity, the Trickster).
  • Tyranny: Subverted, despite widespread temptation in-universe to swear by the name of the Evil Overlord Kyros or attribute good or bad turns to their will: Kyros' Law explicitly prohibits the use of their name in this manner, as they are aware that having people call upon them for every little thing would quickly diminish the prestige of their name — essentially, it is law in the empire that thou shalt not take Kyros' name in vain. Further enforcing this is the fact that if someone does swear by Kyros' name, then whatever oath they swore is considered binding on pain of death.
  • Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria has the usual "By the gods," from assorted NPCs, but additionally has Rufus asking, "What the Hel just happened?" after a particularly climactic confrontation toward the middle of the game.
  • Warcraft
    • Humans (and some dwarves) will often spout things such as "By the Light!" or simply "Light!", mirroring their Crystal Dragon Jesus faith.
    • A favorite phrase of the Dwarves is "By Muradin's beard!" Muradin Bronzebeard is a dwarven hero who was believed to be dead after a particularly heroic mission. In World of Warcraft, Muradin himself even invokes this by exclaiming "By Me own beard!"
    • In Warcraft 3, a Human Knight will say "By the Gods" when clicked on repeatedly, even though religion was barely established at that point.
    • As worshipers of the Naaru/Light, Draenei use similar exclamations to the Humans and the Dwarves, but they use "by the Naaru" just as, if not more frequently.
    • Orcs and trolls have the spirits. More old-fashioned trolls have the Loa, and some of the more spiritual orcs may also invoke their ancestors.
    • The Tauren and the Night elves swear by the Earthmother and Elune, respectively.
    • The Forsaken have elevated Sylvanas to a near god-like position among themselves, saying things like "Dark Lady watch over you", much like humans use "Light be with you".
    • The Pandaren in Mists of Pandaria invoke three of the four Great Beasts. "Jade Serpent guide your path." "May the Red Crane live forever." "White Tiger watch over you." For some reason, the Black Ox is rarely, if ever mentioned.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: The prevailing faith the game world teaches that the world of Alrest was created by a deity referred to as "the Architect" (which turns out to be true, in a sense), so phrases and exclamations uttered by the people there that would normally make reference to a god substitute that name instead (such as "Thank the Architect!").
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: The soldiers who fight the Forever War have no understanding of religion or gods; the closest are their Queens, from whom they are supposedly born, and the Flame Clocks, which they must fill by killing to maintain their own lives. Therefore there are a lot of references to fire and flames ("snuff," "ash," and "spark" are all common), and especially foul-mouthed characters swear by the Queens themselves... or at least their body parts. Eunie has been known to swear "Queen's wings," "Queen's beans," and in one notable instance "Queen's paninis!"

    Visual Novels 
  • Wicked Lawless Love: Characters exclaim "Goddess" instead of "God", and Cecelia, a vampire, uses "Mother Night" on occasion.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Flash short Bad Guys 4: Go to Hell, one of the Bad Guys leaves Hell to go to Heaven (which is apparently right next door to Hell) only to find that the Blue Shirted guy killed God last week and took over Heaven and now has everybody doing hard labor (To quote the Blue Shirt guy: "Life ain't fair kid. And neither is death.") When the Bad Guys figure that the treatment in Hell (getting hot pokers up your ass) is better and leave Heaven to go back to Hell, the Blue Shirt guy utters "Me Dammit!"
  • In Battle for Dream Island every contestant has varying "Oh my X" phrases matching with what they are and what creates them, such as Firey's "Oh my oxygen," Bubble's "Oh my bubble blower" or Leafy's "Oh my tree." This extends to other terms as well, such as Gelatin saying "What the meat" in place of "What the hell." It's also zigzagged, as the typical "Oh my god" and OMGs are still used rather often, especially by Match in the latter case.
  • DC Super Hero Girls: Wonder Woman says "Oh my Hera" in one episode.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, being a parody of Warhammer 40,000, has several instances of these - usually of the same variety as the above mentioned Warhammer 40,000 examples.
  • In Hazbin Hotel and Helluva Boss, demons tend to swear in the name of Satan. (Or "Satan's asscrack" or whatever.) This is a less obvious choice for them than it seems, because Satan and Lucifer are different characters, and it's Lucifer who's the ruler of Hell.
    • In the "Queen Bee" episode of Helluva Boss, a hellhound says "Oh my dog." She did say "O.M.G." before that — kind of obligatory due to the stereotypical way in which she talks — but, since she's a demon, it would be rather odd for her to say "God".
  • RWBY:
    • The ship captain in Volume 4 exclaims this when his ship is attacked by the sea dragon Grimm. This was foreshadowing to the God of Light and God of Darkness, the brother gods in question that used to live on Remnant.
    • In Volume 7, Ironwood uses "Brothers know...".
    • Curiously, this exchange from Volume One uses "God" singular twice, in what is probably just Early-Installment Weirdness considering it never happens again.
    Ruby: I tripped over some crabby girl's luggage and then she yelled at me and then I sneezed and then I exploded and then she yelled again and then I felt really, really bad and I just wanted her to stop yelling at me.
    Weiss: YOU!
    Ruby: [Jumps into Yang's arms] Oh God, it's happening again!
    Weiss: You're lucky we weren't blown off the side of the cliff!
    Yang: Oh my God, you actually exploded.
  • Sam & Mickey: The dolls view Mattel as their God, prompting such statements such as "Oh Mattel!" and "What on Mattel's green Earth is happening in here?!".

  • Beyond the End: There are many gods in the world of Beyond The End, and followers of that specific god will use their name. Asphodel and Schoel will mention Tlaloc or Quetzalcoatl, for example.
  • Averted by Crystal Heroes. Despite mentions of a goddess with a name, the characters only ever invoke her by the name "God" and refer to her as such.
  • Various characters in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures are heard to say "gods!" or "oh gods!" - there's some suggestion that the nature of these gods, when revealed, will be plot-important. (Dan at one early point talks about "the face of God," but this is usually written off as Canon Discontinuity.)
  • A few in Drowtales, where "Sharess", the patron of the traditional drow religion, or "Goddess" are used in the same context a human would use "God" such as exclamations. Also contains a cultural example, rather than a religious one, in that to drow, loyalty to family and clan is generally considered very important. Hence, the drow equivalent for "motherfucker" is "motherkiller".
  • "Monstrous" folk in Eerie Cuties seem to have their own traditions. Layla (vampire) once said "What in the name of the Impaler is going on here?" and Chloe (succubus) "Oh, sweet Lilith!". Layla later swore more graphically.
  • Epiphany features a world where the main religion is duality, which as the name suggests, follows two gods. This trope pops up word-for-word quite frequently.
  • Erfworld:
    • Vinny Doombats has invoked his world's creator deities' (The Titans of Arc) anatomies: "Titans' testes!"
    • Later, a frustrated Wanda has said "Titan's Teats".
  • Mr. Mighty in Everyday Heroes has used the exclamation "Great Siegel's Ghost!", a Shout-Out to the "Great Caesar's Ghost" utterance of Perry White in the Adventures of Superman... Superman being a creation of Jerry Siegel. Well, in the world of superhero comics, he would qualify as a demigod, at the very least.
  • Exterminatus Now:
  • In A-gnosis's webcomic The Family Party it is revealed that Zeus likes to use the name of his brother Hades as a curse. Which comes back to bite him, as Ganymede is horrified when he is told who the man he is just pouring wine is — Hades has been talked into going to the family party, and already was in a bad mood before this happened.
  • Freefall: Niomi exclaims "Isaac Asimov on a bicycle!" when a realization hits her regarding the Bowman's Wolf project.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Characters tend to swear with variations "Sweet Lightning!" ("Red Fire!" has also been heard).
    • Zeetha has been known to name-drop goddesses of her own civilization ("Ashtara above," etc.) when swearing.
    • Religion is in general skirted around, but Christianity certainly exists (probably also Judaism), so possibly it co-exists with pre-Christian beliefs. Religion is going to be severely dampened in a setting where society is dominated by mad scientists performing technological miracles and exuding improbable amounts of charisma despite their excesses. Still, there ARE seven popes apparently...
    • At least once a character (Baron Wulfenbach) uses "Gotterdammerung" in a manner similar to "God damn it". In German "Götterdämmerung" refers to the "Twilight of the Gods", i.e. Ragnarok from Norse myth (usually via Wagner), and isn't usually used as a swear word at all. Appropriating it as an expletive could pretty definitely be considered blasphemous to people believing in whatever gods are being referred to, though given who uses it that wouldn't be altogether a surprise. Probably used here because it sounds like "God damn it."
    • At one point Oggie uses the expression "by de Name— be qviet!". Which may have been a reference to the Tetragrammatonnote , but in retrospect may be the name of the creators and masters of Jägerkin — the Heterodynes.
    • The (ironically named) Moloch von Zinzer, an ex-soldier, also exclaims "Daughter of thunder" in the first chapter, when he picks up the device that killed his brother.
    • An airship sailor once used "what in the freefalling hell..."
    • Princess Neena, daughter of the immortal Queen Albia of England, exclaims "Oh my mom!"
  • El Goonish Shive: At one point, Charlotte makes the shocked exclamation "Oh my agnostic outlook..."
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!:
    • Nemesites (a race of man-sized butterflies) sometimes exclaim, "Sweet Mothra!"
    • Jean's catchphrase is "Egad!"
  • Insecticomics has characters swear by various show and comic writers.
  • In I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space!!!, the lesbian pirates often are heard invoking Sappho in this way, such as "Sweet Sappho's underpants!" and "Sappho's tits, no!" — unlike Wonder Woman above there is nothing subtle about this being a lesbian reference.
  • Kaspall uses "Circle!" and "God's shape!", as explained here.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: Throne, the Hub and Portal Crossroad World of The Multiverse, is mostly dominated either by the Atru faith (which worships the dead gods whose corpses make up much of the city) or worship of either Old King Zoss or the Seven. Consequently, most oaths and godly invocations will be to one of these: Allison at one point utters "Jesus!" as a frustrated exclamation, only to have her conversation partner utter "who?" and Allison realising no-one would have heard of him. Interestingly, the God-Emperor Gog-Agog averts this by using "jeez!" as an exclamation, meaning she's either visited/conquered an Earth that has Christianity in it, or picked it up from Allison (who Gog-Agog is the self-admitted "biggest fan" of).
  • The Last Human In A Crowded Galaxy: Robots sometimes invoke the Network, the galaxy-spanning Metaverse and Artificial Intelligence gestalt that's a cornerstone of the setting's society.
  • Transformers fancomic Lil Formers had Arcee grumble "Primus!" the way a disgruntled employee would use "Christ!"
  • Lore Olympus: Aside from "Oh my gods!", the characters sometimes invoke Gaia's name.
  • Off-White Jera's exclaims "Dear merciful Fenrir!" after Iki gets food stuck in his ear.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Often done with Azurites, whose civilization is based on East Asia, saying, "Twelve Gods damn you!"
    • Durkon the Dwarven cleric also invokes Thor's various body parts as exclamations. "Thor's Beard!" "Thor's Teeth!" "Thor's Duodenum!"
    • At one point, the undead Card-Carrying Villain Xykon says, "Unholy crap!"
    • Most of the other characters just say "Oh my gods." (Or "great elven gods".) Though for some reason, they usually use the singular when followed by "damn it!"
    • Interestingly, Julio Scoundrèl once says "How in the name of Gygax..."
  • PepsiaPhobia being set in Ancient Greece (well, The Theme Park Version), this is naturally used. Like other webcomics example, Phobia often swears by the anatomy of said gods, with several examples on this very same strip.
  • In Rusty and Co., Prestige Perkins exclaims "Oh my gods!" after Mimic and Cube save her.
  • Archangel Michael from Satan and Me says "Oh my Dad!"
  • Selkie: One common Sarnothi curse is "teeth and scales" in reference to the eel god. Selkie herself, having lived among humans for much of her life, translates it to english and adds some human profanity for flavor.
  • The Founder of Sleepless Domain's city seems to have a level of deification among its citizens. When Heartful Punch discovered how Innocently Insensitive she had been to Undine the night before, she exclaimed "Oh, Great Founder" in the tone of someone saying My God, What Have I Done?. Vedika later refers to "Founder Worshippers" who believe the dreams that grant Magical Girls their powers is a form of contact by the Founder. At the same time, there is at least one character, Mark, who mutters "Jesus..." upon meeting Undine and realizing what happened to her, suggesting it's not universal.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, Kron, a demi-god of the Mohkadunese pantheon, says "By us!"
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: The Norse and Finnish pantheons have made a big come-back in the comic's world, which has caused the return of swearing by or thanking multiple gods in normal vocabulary.
  • Liska of Tails from the Mynarski Forest has uttered "Oh embleer Frith!", a reference to Watership Down as mentioned above. "Embleer", by the way, means "stinky" in the Lapine language; the writer explained that since the idea of "stinky" varies from species to species, for a fox the phrase would be the equivalent of something like "Sweet Jesus!"
  • The Vulpine in Terinu tend to swear "By the Holy Den Mother!" when excited, while a Ferin in a flashback refers to the Varn Gene Mage as "Great Father" (accurate, given he really did create the Ferin race.) Interestingly, humans seem to avoid swearing by God, and for some reason, Christmas is now referred more generically as "Yuletide".
  • In Turn Signals on a Land Raider, a Warhammer 40,000 webcomic, Kren and Frep take this to a ridiculous extent, with phrases like "Emperor's Life Insurance!" and "Emperor's Pointy Keyboard!"
    • One time they exclaimed "Marneus Calgar's Heavy Converted Land Raider!" About a week before, an article in Games' Workshop's White Dwarf magazine did a painting/modeling article on just that.
  • Eben of Two Lumps loves these. "Great Bast!" is his default (appropriate for a cat), but he gets creative on occasion ("Great Wattles of Herod!").
  • In Undead Friend, though set in modern times the world seems to be slightly based in Greek Mythology which crops up in their common sayings. Some examples: "What in Hades is this!?" "I'm dead. I'm dead and this is Tartarus." "Oh, Hades..."
  • The cast of User Friendly say "Ye gods!" with some regularity.
  • Walkyverse has "Cheezus" and "the Cheese" used quite often, alongside more conventional exclamations, likely as a reference to the godlike Wanderer, whose head looks like a lump of cartoon cheese.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Yokoka exclaims "Oh my goddess!"; given her amnesia it's possible she can't remember her goddess's name, though Mao uses it later (but less emphatically). Another example includes Kagi's "Where in Methuselah's name have you been?".

    Web Original 
  • In the newsgroup, it's common to replace references to God with ${DEITY}, allowing the reader to fill in their own deity of choice. (This syntax is used in most *nix shells for variable substitution.) Makes sense since at least one long-time regular in that group is a Wiccan. (And many of them are geeks.)
  • /r/talesfromtechsupport has adopted ${DEITY} as well, possibly coming up with it independently as a logical extension of using "${MyBoss}", "${dumbuser}" etc to preserve people's anonymity.
  • On Neopia, the world of Neopets, the Queen of the Faeries is named Fyora. In some text portions of the site, especially in the newspaper The Neopian Times, "...for Fyora's sake!" is a commonly-used interjection. Amusingly, when Fyora herself did the weekly editorial, she used "for Neopia's sake!" instead.
  • Played with in the Whateley Universe: Fey, one of The Fair Folk, swears to the goddesses, whoever they might be; Tennyo just doesn't swear; army brat Lancer may swear like a trooper when he's upset. Carmilla, who is a baby Great Old One, swears to things you do not want to know about. And sometimes, Generator deliberately swears like she's a kid:
    Generator: You poopyhead!

    Web Videos 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • The show has lots of fun with the fact that "Kami" essentially means "God", and there is a character named "Kami":
      Krillin: Oh, thank our great green god in the Lookout!
      Krillin: Oh, Great Green Goddammit!
    • Piccolo has a brilliant one, saying "Oh my other me!" at one point, since his other self is Kami, Earth's guardian deity.
    • Kami even refers to himself in Episode 31 when he sees the damage caused by Garlic Jr., who was quickly assimilated by Mr. Popo.
      Kami: OH MY ME! What happened to the lookout?!
    • And for Goku, there's confusion because he's been tutored by both Kami and King Kai, who's also referred to as a God. This from Episode 34 when he finds out Trunks is Bulma's kid:
      Goku: Oh my Gamikai!
    • In the Broly movie, King Kai swears "Supreme Kai almighty!" when Goku teleports right in front of him.
    • "(Super Kami) Dende" then begins use as a swear after he takes Kami's place as Earth's guardian, one time being said by Dende himself ("Me-dammit!") and another by Piccolo in an episode of Dragon ShortZ.
    • When Cell sees Gohan reach Super Saiyan 2, his response is "Dear Lord in Piccolo, finally!" referring to how Kami has now been fused into Piccolo.
    • In one of the Dragon Ball Super shorts, Beerus tells Whis not to play "Dabura's advocate."
  • Mr. Deity has used OMS, presumably standing for "Oh my self".
  • The Quarter Guy, befitting his persona of game reviewer, did his best to avoid saying God's name in vain. So instead, being well-versed on Kid Icarus, he used the name of the resident Hot Goddess Palutena instead. Thus, "Sweet Palutena."
  • What the Fuck Is Wrong with You?: Nash has occasionally been known to say "by the unwashed balls of Odin" or similar.
  • One-time use in Woolie Versus: When Woolie is explaining the way to defeat ghosts in Death Stranding to Reggie, he tells him "I swear to Kojima". Doubles as Genius Bonus, since Kojima had one of his characters say "Kojima is god" at one point, and Woolie is no doubt aware of that.
  • Yami from Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, who is the spirit of an Egyptian pharaoh, has a habit of referencing Egyptian gods and pharaohs in this manner, which starts out simple enough ("Holy Ra!") but gets increasingly absurd and comedic as the series goes on ("By the butt-cleavage of Osiris! By the come-hither glance of Cleopatra!")
  • In this hilarious voiceover of an old film, Jesus himself does this:
    Jesus: What in the name of Me is going on in here?
  • Caddicarus: In "The Unholy World of Jesus Games", Caddy dresses up as Jesus for the entirety of the video and at one point says "Oh, for the love of my dad!"

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Characters use words like "Glob", "Gob" or "Grod" for this... and then we meet Grob Gob Glob Grod, the four-headed Martian deity they are apparently alluding to. Finn and PB especially mention Glob, the darkest skinned of the four.
  • Amphibia: The residents of the titular land say, "Frog" in place of "God". The three human girls also eventually start to incorporate it into their vocabulary.
  • Avengers Assemble: Odin swears "My beard!" in an episode.
  • Dexter's Laboratory:
    • Dexter says "Einstein's Ghost!"
    • We have Major Glory declaring "By Washington's Wig!"
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk: The Vikings regularly say phrases like, "Thank Thor!", "Oh, (my) Thor!," "Let's pray to Odin", "Oh, for the love of gods!", etc.
  • Drawn Together being a show that runs on Refuge in Audacity, once had an Indian man think he ran over a cow (in reality, Toot) and exclaim "Oh my hundreds of goofy gods!"
  • Family Guy: After accidentally lightning-bolting a woman he was hitting on to bits and setting the bar on fire, God himself yelled "Jesus Christ!"... who opened the door behind him. "What?" "Get the Escalade, we're out of here!"
  • On Fangbone!, the Skullbanian characters frequently make various phrases and exclamations related to their twin gods Grom and Morg (usually referencing one of their body parts for that matter).
  • Futurama
    • Professor Farnsworth often says "Sweet Zombie Jesus!" The "Jesus" part is Edited for Syndication. (Though, apparently, The Second Coming of Jesus has come and gone (in the year 2443), destroying the vast majority of surviving videotapes in the process. This is, quite unsettlingly, seemingly what "Zombie Jesus" refers to.) In Bender's Big Score, Farnsworth goes one step further and begins a sentence with, "How in Satan's glorious name...?" He is crazy and senile.
    • In "The Farnsworth Parabox", the Professor can be heard yelling, over the sounds of an experiment gone haywire, "Buddha! Zeus! God! One of you guys do something! Satan! You owe me!" (Considering the Robot Devil is a very real character, it's entirely possible R.D. owes Farnsy a favor!)
    • Hermes is a goldmine of these. He utters "Sweet Haile Selassie!" as he is a Rastafarian. He also once said, "Ras H. Tafari!" Though not strictly gods, he is fond of unusual exclamations like "Sweet lion of Zion!" or "Sweet pony of Sierra Leone!" or once "Sweet... something... of someplace!"
    • In the episode Amazon Women In The Mood, when Fry and Bender find the Amazon village, Bender exclaims "Oh your God!".
    • Leela's ex-boss (apparently a Hindu Indian) once used the expression, "Oh my various Gods!"
    • In "The Tip of the Zoidberg", Zoidberg exclaims "Great Little Caesar's ghost!", a reference to both the Superman line and the Little Caesar's restaurant chain.
  • Justice League
    • Wonder Woman also says "Great Hera!" a lot in the Animated Adaptation, to the point of it being her catchphrase. At some point, Hawkgirl lampshades by blurting "Do you ALWAYS have to say that?" during a fight.
    • On the other hand, Green Lantern believes it's warranted when an opponent, who had been steadily copying the League members' powers, finally copies Superman.
      Wonder Woman: Hera help us!
      Green Lantern: She'd better. No one else can, now.
    • Also in the animated Justice League:
      The Flash: Great Jumping Hera!
  • Korgoth of Barbaria, when doubling over in pain from stomach parasites, yells, "Hairy balls of the gods!"
  • Kid Cosmic: Many of the alien characters say “Grop” in place of God much like on Wander over Yonder below, likely as a Shout-Out since both shows were created by Craig McCracken. Some of the Human characters start saying it as well after being out in space long enough.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: A Mall Santa once exclaimed to Stitch "Sweet merciful Kringle! You're naughty!"
  • The Lion Guard: The animals replace "God" with "savanna" in truisms.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has multiple instances of ponies invoking the name of Princess Celestia. It's not altogether clear whether they actually consider her divine or are simply swearing by the next best thing they have.
    • At one point, a magically shrunken and stranded Applejack exclaims "Thank Celestia!" upon being rescued (inadvertently) by Rainbow Dash.
    • On two occasions, this was in the form of a Shout-Out to Gone with the Wind: with Rarity in "Sisterhooves Social" ("As Celestia is my witness, I shall never be sisterless again!") and in "Putting Your Hoof Down" with Fluttershy ("As Celestia is my witness, I'm never gonna be a pushover again!"), as a reference to Scarlett's quote "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!"
    • In "The Last Roundup":
      Rainbow Dash: Nothing! For the love of Celestia, just sit there and do nothing!
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2":
      Rarity: Sweet Celestia! Are you all seeing what I'm seeing?
    • In "Every Little Thing She Does"
      Twilight:What in Celestia’s name is going on here?
    • This is actually lampshaded in "Celestial Advice" when Twilight swears by Celestia's name... in front of Celestia herself.
      Celestia: Hm, I wasn't aware I was an expression.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Characters invoke the Corn Shepherd by expressing "Oh My Cob" and other such phrases.
  • Oswald: Oswald's catchphrase is "Oh my gosh" while Daisy's is "Golly tamale".
  • The Owl House: People on the Boiling Isles view the Titan whose body makes up the land they live on as a quasi-godlike figure and use its name in places where you'd normally reference God ("So help me Titan", "Oh my Titan", "For Titan's sake", etc...) . Even Luz starts doing it part way through season 2. When Luz actually speaks with the Titan's soul in the last episode, she mutters "Oh, Titan..." in shock, to which the Titan lightheartedly replies "Oh, me?".
  • Reboot: The Crimson Binome's exclamation of choice is "By The Code!" whenever something unexpected or particularly heroic happens.
  • Robot Chicken: One episode has Jesus say "Daddamnit!"
  • Rugrats has a recurring use of "Bob as my witless", which is a series of mondegreens in this case-the babies mishear the adults' use of the phrase.
  • Shadow Raiders: People from Planet Ice regularly exclaim "By the great glacier!" and "Thank the frost!" The people of Fire have "By the inferno!"
  • The Simpsons:
    • Hindu shopkeeper Apu has been known to exclaim, "Shiva H. Vishnu!"—treating the name of two different gods as if they were part of a single name. Although there are some branches of Hinduism that consider both incarnations of the same god.
    • Principal Skinner gives us "G.M. Chrysler!" on one occasion. This may or may not be a Brave New World reference, see above.
    • And then there's Sideshow Bob's "By Lucifer's beard!" Not to mention "Zeus's pimples!"
    • Speaking of which, in "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming", there was Colonel Hapablap's "What in the World According to Garp?"
    • When Milhouse witnesses his divorced parents kissing each other, he cries out "Sweet Lizzie McGuire!"
    • Also, this is lampshaded in an episode where Homer buys a food product called "Cheezus N' Rice."note 
    • Another by Apu had his cry out while making love to Manjula "Oh! Calcutta!!"
  • The Smurfs: Papa Smurf would say "Great Smurfness" or "Great Smurfs Of Fire", while Gargamel at one time invoked the name of Beelzebub.
  • South Park: The future civilization version is parodied: the atheists mock Cartman for saying, "Jesus Christ!" ("Hahahaha, you believe in a supernatural being.") but say, "Science damn you" and "Oh my Science!" Richard Dawkins, among others, complained after the episode aired that this was reducing science to a religion (a common creationist tactic). Apparently Dawkins and company didn't realize that offending everyone and everything is South Park's stock in trade.
    "Science H. Logic! What an asshole!"
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • Neptune is often mentioned by characters: "Oh Neptune", "Sweet Neptune", etc.
    • "Tartar sauce" and "fish paste" are both things sea creatures may encounter or become right before being eaten, and so either may be used an exclamation analogous to "(God) Dammit".
    • In "My Pretty Seahorse", Mr. Krabs uses the expression "David H. Jones!" (referring to Davy Jones).
    • Other exclamations include "Great Barrier Reef!" and "Criminy Jim-Jim!"
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "Envoys", awed by Rutherford's performance in the SmorgasBorg simulation, Shaxs gasps "In the name of the Prophets!"
  • Steven Universe: Gems have occasionally exclaimed "Oh, my stars!" or "Thank the stars!" Despite being God Emperors, the Diamonds' names are usually only invoked literally — in fact, one of them used the latter phrase.
  • Superfriends seems to have come up with standard ones for each of the DC heroes:
    Superman: Great Krypton!
    Batman: Great Gotham!
    Wonder Woman: Great Hera!
    Aquaman: Great Neptune! (or sometimes Great Atlantis!)
    Green Lantern: Great galaxies!
    Black Vulcan: Great lightning!
    Hawkman: Great birds of prey!
    The Flash: By the wings of Mercury!
    Green Arrow: [in one 1st season episode] By Robin Hood's bow!
  • Thundarr the Barbarian says either "Demon Dogs!" or "Lords of Light!" at least once per episode.
  • ThunderCats (1985): "Great Jaga!" (wise, but not a god), "Mountains of Thundera!", and "What in the name of Thundera!?" (A planet in the original. Mother Earth religion relic?)
  • Transformers:
    • Though the Transformers' "god", Primus (the one that doesn't involve Les Claypool), rarely appears in the animated media, in the '86 animated movie Kup exclaims, "Engage the boosters for Cybertron's sake!", and in Beast Wars, Rattrap once swore, "by my great aunt Arcee".
    • It's also pretty common in some series for Transformers to say "By the Allspark!" Depending on the series, the Allspark is either the lifeforce of Primus, the place where all sparks originate from and return to after death, the mysterious artifact that gave life to all of Cybertron, or some combination thereof. Either way, it's Serious Business. Once, just once, we even get a "By the Allspark of Primus!"
    • Likewise, "By the Matrix!" is used similarly. (The Matrix also changes definitions, meaning the Creation Matrix (the 'primordial program' that can give Transformers life, similar to the MacGuffin version of the Allspark), the Matrix of Leadership (mystical artifact that contains the wisdom of all past leaders and has whatever power the plot needs up to and including defeating dark gods and reviving the dead), and just plain The Matrix (the Transformer afterlife, also better known as the Allspark in later versions.) Unicron is also used as the negative counterpart of Primus, in place of The Devil.
      • Optimus Primal uses Primus' name in a truly epic fashion at the end of the season 2 finale, screaming "BY PRIMUS, NO!!!!!!"
    • In some of the comics, characters have been known to swear by "the Celestial Spires" of Iacon.
    • As for the other place, "The Inferno" and "The Pit" stand in for Hell and you can expect bad guys to say "By the inferno!" whenever good guys would say "By the allspark!" At least one comics story tells us what the Pit really is: deep within the planet-sized body of God of Evil Unicron is the place where Transformers are burned away to nothing and remade in mind and body to become his minions.
  • Wakfu: The characters use the names of their titular gods (from the same world as the MMORPG Dofus) within common expressions quite often. "For the love of Crâ." "Sadida help us!" "Thunder of Ogrest!"...
  • Wander over Yonder: Characters often say “Oh my Grop!” when shocked or despondent instead of God. The same phrase is heard on the related show Kid Cosmic.
  • The Wind in the Willows (the stop-motion TV series): Toad frequently used "By Jove!". Once, when he was on a time-travel kick, he was conked asleep and dreamt he went back to the days of Julius Caesar, in the well-known play version, with his friends (and recurring enemies) in the important roles. When he says "By Jove!" here, the character his mind has caused Rat to portray says "Yes, and by all the gods of Rome!" I think it happens three times before Toad cuts him off.
  • Young Justice (2010): In the second season, Lagoon Boy had "Neptune's beard!"

    Real Life 
  • Quite common in India, although almost never heard in English; people have a tendency to revert to their mother tongues when frustrated-slash-excited-ly invoking Gods' names.
  • "By Jove!", a real English expression. "Jove" is another name for Jupiter/Zeus, though the phrase was also used (by William Shakespeare, for instance) to refer to the Judeo-Christian God.
  • Meanwhile, a growing trend exists for Portuguese atheists to replace "Deus" (God) in exclamations with "Zeus" since they sound almost alike. However, unlike most examples of this, it is not really to repudiate Judeo-Christian religion but to observe the "not speaking His name in vain" rulenote . Also, this only applies to the Judeo-Christian God (see the "oxalá" example below). Also this is ostensibly pointless since both "Deus" and "Zeus" are cognate words derived from the Top God of the Proto-Indo-Europeans.
  • The French occasionally use "Nom de Zeus!" as an alternative to "Nom de Dieu!" ("In God's name!", equivalent to "For God's sake!"). Best known in modern society as Doc Brown's catchphrase in the French dub.
  • In Slovak, there exists the curse "doparoma / do paroma", Parom (Perun) being an old Slavic god of thunders (following the spread of Christianity his name became more or less equated with the devil).
  • The exact same thing happened with the Finnish Perkele, whose name is now the most common curse word in the Finnish language.
  • "Zounds", for its part, is a corruption of "Christ's Wounds"
  • There is also "Gadzooks", which means "God's hooks" (the nails on Jesus' cross), and "Egad" meaning "Ye God".
  • Cockney favourite "Gor Blimey" (God blind me) and Crikey, a corruption of Gor Cripeme, or God cripple me.
  • And "Gor Blimey!" has itself been corrupted into "Gordon Bennett!", though that one is also inspired by a real person.
  • "Tabernac" is used as a curse word in Quebec. It means approximately, "By the Tabernacle!" Quebec swearing goes nuts with this as all of their curse words are intentionally butchered religious terms. Amusingly, saying all of them in a row results in a Cluster F-Bomb when translated. A Quebecois joke: A French stage director was asked by his Quebecois assistant what props were needed for the next play (which had a scene in a church). In a hurry, he replied, "tabernacle, cierge, ciboire, calice, hostie." The assistant replied, "That's cool, now what did you want again?"
  • Exclamations of this sort do appear in Roman literature. Cicero uses it in "di immortales" ("by the immortal gods") to indicate incredulity at one point.
  • Many modern Pagans will say "God" and "Goddess" in their exclamations or use more specific gods' names instead. Or "Lord" and "Lady."
  • In Denmark it used to be pretty common to say, "May the gods be with them" (Må guderne være med dem) or 'The gods may know' (det må guderne vide) (Although this phrase is more common than the other) in everyday language, newspapers and television. People don't really notice they're being plural.
  • In Sweden there is an old expression "gudars skymning" which is an equivalent to darn it. Most people don't realise they are actually saying twilight of the gods. The Swedish version of 'The gods may know' ("det må gudarna veta") also sees some use, although not as commonly as in Danish or as "gudars skymning".
  • From the Philippines: "Susmariosep", (Jesus, Maria, Joseph) a classic favorite since the Spanish Colonial Era. Its more recent (and trendy) incarnation is the much shorter "Ay, sus." (Oh, Jesus...) That's a Catholic thing in general. The English-language version would be "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" — which is just as often used to express displeasure at a person than surprise.
  • Also a common exclamation in Bavaria — and since they are Separated by a Common Language, this might end up as this trope for any other German. Speaking of Bavaria, "Zefix" (as contraction of "crucifix") is also common there.
  • In Ireland, a common expression is still used: "Oh holy God almighty". This comes in a variety of ways, including "Oh holy Lord above us", "By the Lord almighty" and things to this effect. In typically Catholic fashion Jesus, Mary, Joseph, various saints, or all the saints collectively are also invoked, often together. "Holy Mother of sweet divine Jesus and all the saints in Heaven!"
    • The standard greeting in Gaelic translates literally to "God be with you" and the response to "God and Mary be with you". While as good as obsolete there's also the possibility of responding to that with "God and Mary and (Saint) Patrick be with you" and so on, wishing an extra saint to be with the person you're greeting or answering each time.
  • In Hebrew (of all languages) the expression "אלוהים אדירים/elohim adirim" ("great gods") is sometimes used (though it's not very common, it's not unknown either). It's clearly plural because of the plural adjective. This is actually a case of the majestic plural, as Hebrew often refers to the capital G "God" this way (contrasting with their referring to plural pagan deities as "Elilim", or "Godlings")
  • In an especially strange example, the expression "great Scott!" could refer to General Winfield Scott, Union commander during the American Civil War. Some of his officers liked to invoke him in this way, apparently.
  • The Spanish word "ojalá" and Portuguese "oxalá" are used to mean "hopefully" or "I hope that"; it's derived from the Arabic for "and may Allah will it".
  • The memetic status of rapper Lil B "the Based God" led to people on the internet subbing in "thank you, Based God" for "thank you, God".
  • A possible etymology for "bloody" as an invective is an elesion of "By our Lady" (ie Mary), or an abbreviation of "God's blood!" , in the same way as the medieval oath "Zounds!" comes from "God's wounds!" This is questionable, however.