Posted by Bruce Kahl on June 06, 2000
In Reply to: DAD GUM! posted by mark patray on June 06, 2000
The word is not found in Webster's Third International Dictionary. It seems to enjoy a close kinship to "cotton-pickin'" and "gol-darn." And it is not all that far removed from
"gosh-dang" and "dang-blasted" (or "ding-blasted, a regional variation).
Paul Fussell, in his amusing and witty book, _Class_, believes such words
are favored by "a sizable middle class desperate not to offend through
language and thus addicted to such class giveaways as euphemism,
genteelism, and mock profanity ('Golly')." In Fussell's scheme, "dad-gum"
clearly fits under the mock profanity rubric, in the same category as
"dog-gone" and "son of a gun".