One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Used as an exclamation of applause or thanks, or (in later use) to express surprise, distress, etc.
An expression of thanks, a ‘thank-you’.
Late 15th century; earliest use found in Sir Eglamour. From god + the present subjunctive of have + mercy, used in the sense ‘God reward you’, and hence as an expression of thanks.
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