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"Hotter than a by god. "
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Tracey Moulden
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Recently I have heard this phrase used several times when referring to the hot temps in Texas. I have few questions about this:

Is this a common phrase for Texans?

Is it grammatically correct?

Is it related to age of the speaker?

Is it an attempt to not use the Lord’s name in vain?

I really want to understand this, but I’m having some difficulty. Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,



Fort Worth, TX
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I can only give you the observation of one Texan.   I am 66 years old, have lived in the Fort Worth area all my life and I have never heard this phrase.   It is easily understandable, and I know exactly how hot they’re talking about, but it’s a new one on me.

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Tracey I am sure you were hearing something else.

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I have never heard it, but I can find a few examples of it. It appears that “by God” is a euphemism for some offensive noun, but I can’t be sure which noun. I might venture bitch since euphemisms often start with the same sound as the word they represent.

This fellow claims he heard the expression from British soldiers: hotter than a by-god. He claims to have heard it 70 years ago.

This fellow writes relating events in 1944: ” … my men came to me and said their Ml rifles were frozen tighter than a by-god, …” tighter than a by-god. Again it is in a military context of around that same era.

So I don’t think you are imagining it.

[edit: added a few more examples from Google books]

colder than a by-God

drunker than a by-God

dancers that don’t wear no more than a by-god.

It’s worse than a by-God.

Tracey Moulden
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Thank you so much for your answer. I knew I wasn’t hearing something else because there were other people hearing the same thing. In fact it became a joke in my family since it was driving me crazy when I heard it said by two different people over the past couple of years. Everyone I had asked, had never heard the phrase before. Where the two people I heard it from picked it up from I have no clue. They are the only two I’ve heard say it, they have been friends for over 40 years and have lived in the same area for over 60 years. I have never had the opportunity to ask them why they say it.

Thanks again,


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