You might have heard the expression ‘by Jove and wondered what it meant. You might also be wondering how it’s used in the English language correctly. We’ll answer that in this article, plus you’ll learn how to use the phrase in a sentence.
The short answer is that ‘by Jove is used to express surprise. It’s primarily used in British English rather than American English. It’s also used to add emphasis.
The phrase ‘by Jove’ comes from the late 14th century, and it was originally used as a way to refer to Jupiter, the Roman god.
Jove, otherwise known as Jupiter, was the Roman god of the sky who had power over both gods and men.
So, in the 14th century, when people started saying, “by Jov,” it was a way to say “my god” or “good god” without taking the Christian God’s name in vain, which was blasphemy and sin.
To use ‘by Jove' correctly, simply use them the same way you’d use phrases like ‘my god’ and ‘good god.’
For example, you might say, ‘By Jove, you guys made a mess in here! Clean this up right now.”
Now that we know a little bit more about the phrase let’s see the actual definition.
According to Merriam-Webster, it means ‘Jupiter.’
It’s also used to express surprise or add emphasis.
Wondering how to pronounce this word correctly? Here’s a short guide.
Now that you know what the phrase means and how to pronounce it let’s see some sentence examples.
To recap, we learned that ‘by Jove is from the Greek word ‘philos,’ which means lover of or enthusiast of. There are lots of words that end in the suffix ‘phile,’ and they all mean lover of whatever the prefix word is.
It’s mostly used in British English (and in other English-speaking countries outside the U.S.) rather than American English. It’s also used to add emphasis.
If you ever get stuck on usage or meaning, you can always come back here for a quick refresher. We’ve got a ton of other content on confusing words and phrases people often struggle with while learning the language. Feel free to check it out anytime you need to.