Posted by Victoria S Dennis on March 28, 2008 at 12:21:
In Reply to: Re: Darned sight posted by R. Berg on March 27, 2008 at 17:37:
: : What is the origin of the phrase "darned site" please as in "it was a darned site better than the last one"?
: The phrase is "a darned sight," a softened form of "a damn sight," which used to be more common than it is now. This is a far cry from an explanation. All I can tell you is that a damn sight is something like a far cry. ~rb
An archaic meaning of "sight" is "a show or dsplay of something; hence, a great number or quantity; a 'deal' or a 'lot'". That's the meaning it has here; so 'a sight better' = 'a lot better'. 'Damn' or 'darned' are optional intensifiers. (VSD)