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goodness gracious

Also, good gracious; gracious sakes. Exclamation of surprise, dismay, or alarm, as in Goodness gracious! You've forgotten your ticket. Both goodness and gracious originally alluded to the good (or grace) of God, but these colloquial expressions, which date from the 1700s, are not considered either vulgar or blasphemous.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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