Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
"to mend" c.1600, perhaps from Middle French darner "mend," from darne "piece," from Breton darn "piece, fragment, part." Alternative etymology is from obsolete dern (see dern). Related: Darned; darning.
tame curse word, 1781, American English euphemism for damn, said to have originated in New England when swearing was a punishable offense; if so, its spread was probably influenced by 'tarnal, short for Eternal, as in By the Eternal (God), favorite exclamation of Andrew Jackson, among others. Related: darned (past participle adjective, 1806); darndest (superlative, 1844).
(also darned or darnfoolor derned or durned) Wretched; nasty; silly: sentimental songs, darnfool ditties, revival hymnsadverb
: She was darn excitedinterjection
(also darn it or dern it or durn it) An exclamation of disappointment, irritation, frustration, etc: Darn, I've dropped my glockenspiel!
[1780s+; euphemism for damn, which is regarded by some as taboo; probably based on earlier darnation, ''damnation,'' attested by 1798]