We say “God forbid” when we really don’t want something to happen or come true. However, there are many better alternatives out there that might be worth learning about. This article will explain all the best ones to you to help you decide which one you’d like to try.
What Can I Say Instead Of “God Forbid”?
There are a few really good options here. This article will highlight the following ones:
- Don’t even think of it
- Heaven forbid
- It’s not worth thinking about
- Perish the thought
- Knock on wood
- Touch wood
- Shudder to think
- Can’t bear the thought
- Dread to think
- Dare I say it!
The preferred version is “don’t even think of it.” We use it when we don’t want negative thoughts to cross someone’s mind. Hopefully, this means the thoughts will not manifest themselves, and they will never come to fruition (which is the idea behind the meaning of “God forbid”).
Don’t Even Think Of It
“Don’t even think of it” is the best alternative to the phrase. We can use it when we want to encourage ourselves or others to stop thinking of certain things. This works well when we hope that we can remove negative thoughts from our minds.
If we can remove negative thoughts, it usually means we remove negative actions. The less we think about bad situations or outcomes, the less likely those things will ever be forced to come true.
It’s similar to “denial,” and it’s a usual psychological trait to have in some cases.
Here are some examples:
- Don’t even think of it! Just focus on my voice, and we’ll be fine.
- He’s going to be okay, so don’t even think of it! Just wait and see what happens.
- Don’t even think of it! Seriously, it’s not worth it!
“Heaven forbid” is very similar to “god forbid.” They both have religious connotations and origins. The only difference is in the choice of “heaven” or “god.” It’s up to you which one you prefer if you do not want to steer away from the religious context.
Here are some helpful examples to show you how it works:
- Heaven forbid that he gets the job offer. That would actually be disastrous for this family!
- Heaven forbid that I should find out about this from my coworkers rather than my friends!
- Heaven forbid that someone is out there acting like that. I wish they would catch him already!
It’s Not Worth Thinking About
“It’s not worth thinking about” works when we want to encourage ourselves or other people to stop their thought processes. This is usually beneficial when they think about dark or dangerous things, and we don’t want them to harm them.
While mere thoughts don’t physically harm people, they can certainly do a lot of mental damage. The more stressful a thought, the worse off someone might be. That’s why we try to encourage people that some thoughts are not “worth thinking about.”
These examples will help to show you how it works:
- Oh, stop it! It’s not worth thinking about, and we should just wait until we hear the official results.
- It’s not worth thinking about! Don’t you spend another second worried about it.
- It’s not worth thinking about! I think you should move on and think about positive things for once.
Perish The Thought
“Perish the thought” is an old-fashioned phrase we can use to replace “god forbid.” It works well when we want to “perish” the bad ideas, which implies that we would rather they die and do not come true in our minds.
Like the above phrases, all of these phrases intend on “killing” or “forbidding” thoughts. If you do not think about something, hopefully, that thing will never be able to manifest and come true.
Here are some examples:
- He can’t possibly think this is a good idea! Perish the thought if he does!
- Perish the thought! I don’t think we should keep going through with this.
- Perish the thought! I didn’t think it would have to happen so quickly.
Knock On Wood
“Knock on wood” is a superstitious phrase that people use to prevent bad things happen. The idea is to “knock on” a piece of wooden furniture (or whatever else is wooden nearby) to try and “charm” something into not happening.
While most superstitious phrases don’t seem to make much sense, the idea is that the act of knocking on “wood” is enough to prevent a disaster. This is a hopeful way for some people to try and avoid bad thoughts or situations in their lives.
Here are some useful examples to show you how it works:
- Knock on wood that he won’t find out about us any time soon.
- Knock on wood that someone will be here to rescue us before it’s too late.
- Knock on wood that we’ll find out these results sooner rather than later.
“Touch wood” is identical to “knock on wood.” Different people will use different sayings, but the superstition behind it is always the same. You can use either one to hopefully “charm” something into not being true.
Here are some examples:
- Touch wood that we don’t have to find out our answer to that awful question!
- Touch wood that whoever gets elected next won’t be half as narcissistic!
- Touch wood that he’ll get into a good college even though he’s got into a lot of trouble lately.
Shudder To Think
“Shudder to think” works well when we want to show that we “shudder” at the thought of something. Often, this means that something is almost too much to think about as the consequences can be grand.
Sometimes, we use this phrase when something has to happen. Even if we might not be best pleased by the thing taking place, we still might have to enact on it. That’s why we use “shudder to think” to show that we’re not happy even if we do something about it.
Here are some examples:
- I shudder to think how many times I’m going to have to go over there to get it through to them.
- I shudder to think of all my old friends and how they’re getting on in that place now!
- I shudder to think of that traumatizing time from earlier in my life.
Can’t Bear The Thought
“Can’t bear the thought” works similarly to the above section. We use it when someone simply “cannot bear” the idea of something. Since they do not think it’s worth thinking about, they often avoid it as a situation, hoping that it might pass them by.
Here are some useful examples of how it might works:
- I can’t bear the thought, but someone has got to go and climb that mountain to find out the answers.
- I can’t bear the thought of asking my boss for another day of paid leave!
- I can’t bear the thought of how things will work out, so I’m just going to wait and see what happens.
Dread To Think
“Dread to think” is another great phrase we can use. It’s similar to “shudder to think,” where somebody feels a sense of “dread” at a simple thought. Therefore, they often refuse to think about whatever the thing is, hoping it will not come true.
These examples will help to explain all you need to know about it:
- I dread to think what might happen if someone doesn’t stop him soon!
- I dread to think of what it might take to make someone like that stop his rampage.
- I dread to think how many years it’s taken to create something like that, and I doubt they’ll want to do it all over again.
Dare I Say It!
“Dare I say it” is another great exclamation we can use. We want to use this phrase when we refuse to even speak of bad actions in our lives. That way, we hope that our silence will be enough to stop whatever the action is from coming true.
Here are some examples of how it might work:
- Dare I say it! He might not even be coming home for Christmas.
- Dare I say it, but I don’t think we’re going to get the intended outcome from this project!
- Dare I say it, but someone has got to go and check on the children to make sure they’re all okay!
What Does “God Forbid” Mean?
We’ve seen all the best alternatives, but let’s quickly go back to the original meaning. It might help to know what the phrase is trying to say in the first place.
“God forbid” means that we do not want something to happen. In religious contexts, we are hoping that “God” will actually forbid whatever action we are referring to, which will therefore mean it cannot happen to us.
The phrase isn’t strictly for religious users, though. Similar to “oh my god,” anyone can use a phrase like “God forbid” regardless of the religion.
You typically want to use it when you really hope that good things happen. It also works when you simply want to avoid bad things in some way.
You may also like: 10 Good Synonyms For “Impending Doom”