Posted by GPP on September 13, 2003
In Reply to: Gott- dam posted by george on September 13, 2003
: Would like to get information on a phrase that is used in a way that has no bearing on it's original intent. I read about it many years ago, and can't recall the story behind it origian. The phrase "GO* DAMM" is used in many ways that has no real meaning.
: In the late eighteenth century there was a man with the last name of Gott, in someway he had devisied a way for slowing down water leaks from some type cantainer, his devise came to be knowne as a gott dam, because of it's function. As this was system was used, it soon found out to not be very good. So as time pass and as people found things that did not work well were said to be not worth a "GOTT DAM". somewhere down the line it changed to not worth a "GO* DAMM".
: If anyone can help I would like to know the story behind this phrase.
Folk etymology (also known as spook etymology and popular etymology) is an "explanation" of the meaning of a word based on its superficial similarity to other words, without analysing its morphological structure, documented history or scientifically reconstructible past forms.
[Sometimes otherwise known as a "troll".]