perish the thought

Idioms & Phrases

perish the thought

Don't even think of it. This expression is used as a wish that what was just mentioned will never happen. For example, He's going to give another speech? Perish the thought! This phrase appeared in Handel's oratorio Joshua (1748; text by Thomas Morell): "It never shall be said that our allies in vain implor'd our aid. Perish the thought!" Also see god forbid.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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