is one occasionally-used term in phibìc Carolina. Mostly thought to replace taking the Lord"s surname in vain (GD).

Is it provided elsewhere? exactly how long has actually it been around?


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Harold Wentworth, American language Dictionary (1944) has actually this entry:

John-Brown, v. T.

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come "darn." 1942

Fla. Suwannee R I"ll it is in John-Browned"

M. F. Rosborough "Don"t you Cry."

Robert Hendrickson, <The facts on paper Dictionary of American Regionalisms> (2000) dispenses with the euphemism:

John Brown an old term in the southern for "to damn"; after the abolitionist man Brown. "Well, I"ll be john Browned!"

And J.E. Lighter, Random home Historical dictionary of American Slang (1997) refers to both the "damned" one "hanged" meanings:

John-Brown v. Esp. So come execute by hanging (obs.); in phr. be John-Browned to it is in "hanged" or damned. 1869 Overland Mo (Aug.) You need apprehend naught dreadful, for boobies seldom "John Brown" every other.

The earliest circumstances of the term the a Google books search find is likewise from The Overland Monthly (May 1870), in an post titled "A Piny-Woods Character":

"Wouldn"t White males make head better, if they would certainly not refuse to work in the same field with Negroes?"

"But no White Man"s gwine to perform it. It"s born right into us, stranger. No White male as respects hisself is ever gwine to do it. He"ll be John-Browned fust. But come, collection up, stranger, and also take a snook."

The next-earliest is indigenous "Broad and Otherwise," in the U.S. Edition of Puck (June 27, 1906, released in brand-new York), we find this early instance that the phrase:

F"rinstance, over there is my niece, who went to institution over in ~ Louderville, and also has just lately come home with one intimate expertise of "most all the non-essentials and also a tolerant contempt because that the plain but serviceables—who tumbled down the garret stairs, the other day, and also announced the she had actually abraded her patella and also started a cicatrix on she sasamoid, leavin" me, as gentleman the the sun-burnt school, unable to ask her whereby she to be hurt or exactly how badly, and—er-ah!—well, education may have expanded her, yet I"ll be John-Browned to gosh if it ain"t swiftly thinnin" me, tryin" to save up through her intellectual curves and also convolutions!

A couple of recent historic studies the the U.S. Civil battle era have actually used John Browned in a completely different way—with the sense "to be attacked suddenly by participants in a slave revolt."

From James Huston, Calculating the value of the Union: Slavery, building Rights, and the financial Origins the the polite War (2003):

This assault on the school of slavery developed in a state wherein the institution was born and totally established; the evoked the primal fear of servant revolts and also all the horrors the attended uprisings that slaves—of the Haiti Revolution. ~ October 1859 various parts that the south underwent traumatic fears of servant revolts and being "John Browned." The raid, everything its relationship to building rights, powerfully evoked apprehensions for white dominance throughout the South and also made the Republicans show up even more demonic.

And native Albert Merrin, A Volcano beneath the Snow: john Brown"s War against Slavery (2014) suggests one more sense of the verb phrase "John Browned" during the Civil battle era:

Slaves were also the chink in the Confederacy"s armor. By 1861, countless had learned around John Brown, and how that had died for them. They also knew around Abraham Lincoln, and that their masters feared he would "John Brown" them. ...

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The Confederate federal government had counting on having actually six hundred thousand guys under arms by July 1861. However, fear of being "John Browned" gripped the Southland. So, when the battle began, governors maintained state-owned weapons from the army. Fearing "disturbances amongst the blacks," they held these in reserve or provided them to local militia units. As a result, generals sent out two hundreds thousand volunteer home due to the fact that they had no weapons for them.

I haven"t to be able to find any kind of older instances whereby "John Browned" is supplied in this way, however, and in any kind of case the an interpretation of the colloquial expression "I"ll be john Browned" walk not have actually the feeling "I"ll be struck in a slave revolt."