beshrew (beshrews, present participle beshrewing; past and past participle beshrewed)

  1. (transitive, archaic) To invoke or wish evil upon; to curse.
    • 1598?, William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act I, scene I:
      Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.
    • 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter XII, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, OCLC 1227855 ↗:
      I had expected to freeze her young – or, rather, middle-aged – blood and have her perm stand on end like quills upon the fretful porpentine, and she hadn't moved a muscle. “Beshrew me,” I said, “you take it pretty calmly.”
  2. (transitive) An imperative uttered as a mildly imprecatory or merely expletive introductory exclamation.
    • c. 1596–1599, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene iii]:
      Beshrew your heart, fair daughter!
    • 1883, Howard Pyle, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood Chapter V
      "Now, beshrew his heart," quoth jolly Robin, "that would deny a butcher. And, moreover, I will go dine with you all, my sweet lads, and that as fast as I can hie." Whereupon, having sold all his meat, he closed his stall and went with them to the great Guild Hall.
  • French: maudire
  • Russian: проклина́ть

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