from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act of damning or the condition of being damned.
  • interj. Used to express anger or annoyance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act or process of damnation or reprobation; hell.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Same as tarnal.


tarn(al) + (damn)ation.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From darnation, influenced by tarnal (from "eternal"), from (euphemistic) damnation; see darn. (Wiktionary)



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  • Tar nation. Tarn at ion.

    June 5, 2015

  • And yet I still haven't found my wallet. :-\

    July 4, 2008

  • I think Hell could be described as a "vast and inexplicable place." The netherworld.

    July 3, 2008

  • Well, actually, now that I think about it, arby, you're probably right. I was just leaping to conclusions from the usage I've heard.

    July 3, 2008

  • Interesting, Asativum! I always thought it was a euphemism for Hell.


    July 3, 2008

  • I LOVE tarnation. It always makes me think of Yosemite Sam -- and he always makes me laugh!

    July 3, 2008

  • Roughly a synonym for the world, or some equally vast and inexplicable place. Uses include "what in tarnation do you think you're up to" and "where in tarnation is my wallet?"

    July 3, 2008