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John Brown’s Slew Foot

“I’ll be John Brown’s slew foot,” a euphemism for “I’ll be damned,” makes reference to the abolitionist riot leader John Brown, who was said to be damned after he was hanged. Slew in this sense means...

I’ll be John Brown

The exclamations “I’ll be John Brown!” and “I’ll be John Browned!” have a sticky history, going back to view that the abolitionist John Brown was doing something damnable by arming a slave revolt. This is part of...

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