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For other meanings of "damn" and "damnation", see Damn (disambiguation).

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"Damnation" is the concept of condemnation by God resulting in a being's punishment. (Mark 3:29)

The word "damn" or phrase "God damn" are widely used as a mild profanity.

Religious

In some forms of Western Christian belief, damnation to hell is what humanity deserves for its sins, and only by the grace of God and salvation through Jesus Christ, can one atone for their sins and escape damnation. One conception is of eternal suffering and denial of entrance to heaven, often described in the Bible as burning in fire. Another conception, derived from the scripture about Gehenna is simply that people will be discarded (burned), as being unworthy of preservation by God. The reasons for being damned have varied widely over the centuries, from murder to dancing.

In Eastern Christian traditions (Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy), as well as some Western traditions, it is seen as a state of opposition to the love of God[1], a state into which all humans are born but against which Christ is the Mediator and Redeemer.

In traditional Christian belief, hell is located in a cavern inside the earth. But some modern Christians have speculated that it might actually be located in a hidden dimension or a separate reality.[2]

Non-religious formal uses

Sometimes the word damned refers to condemnation by people, for example:

Colloquialisms

"Damn" is a mildly profane word used in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia. The use of "damn" in Rhett Butler's parting line to Scarlett O'Hara in the film Gone with the Wind in 1939 captivated moviegoers with "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

There is a persistent statement that the expression "I don't give a damn" has another origin and refers to a small Indian coin. Salman Rushdie, in a 1985 essay on the dictionary of Anglo-Indian terms 'Hobson-Jobson', ends with this: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a small copper coin weighing one tolah, eight mashas and seven surkhs, being the fortieth part of a rupee'. Or, to put it more concisely, a dam.".[3]

"God damn", or "Goddamn", is seen as more profane, even sacrilegious, in some areas of the world, as it is an invocation for God to condemn something or someone to Hell, as well as, because the third commandment of God is "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name." [Exodus 20:7, Holy Bible (New International Version)] . In present-day radio or television broadcasts in North America, the word "God" is usually censored or blurred, leaving "damn" uncensored.[citation needed] The term is occasionally broadcast in the United Kingdom (usually through American imports, as it is seldom used in the UK), but it is not considered as blasphemous (or blasphemy in general is considered less offensive) and is therefore rarely censored.

"Damn" is also used in some areas of the world as an exclamation when an extremely attractive person or object of approval is located; e.g. "Damn, he/she is fine" or perhaps "Damn, he has a nice car!". "Hot damn" may be used similarly, but it is somewhat distinct; for example, if one says, "Joe just won the lottery," a response of "Damn!" on its own can indicate disapproval, but "Hot damn!" indicates approval or surprise.

"Damned" is also used as an adjective synonymous with "annoying" or "uncooperative," or as a means of giving emphasis. For example, "The damn(ed) furnace isn't working again!" or, "I just washed the damn(ed) car!" or, "The damn(ed) dog won't stop barking!" (The word "damned" is usually only used in North America, whereas in other English speaking countries the word is simply "damn".)

"Dang" or "darn" are sometimes used as euphemisms for damn.

Etymology

Its Proto-Indo-European language origin is usually said to be a root dap-, which appears in Latin and Greek words meaning "feast" and "expense". (The connection is that feasts tend to be expensive.) In Latin this root provided a theorized early Latin noun *dapnom, which became Classical Latin damnum = "damage" or "expense". But there is a Vedic Sanskrit root dabh or dambh = "harm".

The word damnum did not have exclusively religious overtones. From it in English came "condemn"; "damnified" (an obsolete adjective meaning "damaged"); "damage" (via French from Latin damnaticum). It began to be used for being found guilty in a court of law; but, for example, an early French treaty called the Strasbourg Oaths includes the Latin phrase in damno sit = "would cause harm". From the judicial meaning came the religious meaning.

Distinguish from

Distinguish from "dam"; the words "dam" and "damn" and their derivative forms are sometimes confused in spelling.

The French prefix "Dam-" and similar seen in "Dampierre" and "Dampnedeu", "Dampnemarie", etc means "Lord" and is derived from Latin dominus.

References

  1. ^ This interpretation concerning Paradise and Hell is not only that of St. Isaac the Syrian and St. Basil the Great, but is a general teaching of the Fathers of the Church, who interpret apophatically what is said about the eternal fire and eternal life. When we speak of apophaticism we do not mean that the Fathers distort the teaching of the Church, speaking abstractly and reflectively, but that as they interpret these themes they try to free them from the categories of human thought and from images of sensory things13. On this point too one can see how the Orthodox-Greek Fathers differ from the Franco-Latins who considered these realities as created14.[1]
  2. ^ Where Is Hell?
  3. ^ Salman Rushdie's Hobson-Jobson essay, in the book Travelers' Tales India by James O'Reilly and Larry Habegger

See also

Further reading

  • The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners Jonathan Edwards, Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1846856723







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