Dammit redirects here, to see the Opeth album see Damnation (album). For the upcoming video game, see Damnation (video game). For other meanings, see Damn (disambiguation).
"Damnation" (or, more commonly, "damn", or "goddamn") is widely used as a moderate profanity, which originated as such from the concept of punishment by God . Until around the mid-20th century, damn was a more offensive term than it is today, and was frequently represented as "D--n," "D---," or abbreviated to just "D."


In some forms of Western Christian belief, damnation to hell is what humanity deserves for its sins, and only by the grace of God 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 their gods.

In Eastern Christian traditions (Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy), as well as some Western traditions, it is seen as a state of separation from God, a state into which all humans are born but against which Christ is the Mediator and "Great Physician".

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sees damnation as a halt in progress rather than an eternal suffering. It is likened to a dam in a river that prevents the river from flowing as it normally would.

Non-religious formal uses

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


"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."

"God damn", or "Goddamn", is usually seen as far more profane, and even sacrilegious, than simply "damn", as it is basically an invocation for God to condemn something or someone to Hell. In present-day radio or television broadcasts of North America, the word "God" is usually censored or blurred, leaving "damn" uncensored. Whilst this is used, often by import of American media, in the United Kingdom, it is not considered as blasphemous therefore it is rarely censored.

"Damn" is also commonly used 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 is not working again!" or, "I did wash the damn(ed) car!" or, "The damn(ed) dog won't stop barking!" (The word "damned" is usually only used in North America, whereas elsewhere in the Anglosphere the word is simply "damn")


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.The word "Dammnit" is a curse word in the U.S.

See Also

Further reading

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

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