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The modern word godspeed derives from the expression God speed you on your way, which came about at a time when speed meant to prove successful or to prosper. That archaic sense of speed is long gone, but godspeed still means may you prosper on your way. It’s similar to good luck, though it’s often used in reference to people who have passed away. It’s also sometimes said to people, especially sailors, embarking on difficult journeys.

The term, which functions as both a noun and an interjection, is sometimes treated as two words, but the one-word godspeed is about five times as common in modern writing. Some publications always capitalize the g in godspeed, and some don’t.


As a noun

We wish this funny, toughly vulnerable and lonely person Godspeed. [Ottawa Citizen]

If the Chief Justice pledges to end all this, then we wish him godspeed. [Daily Nation]

Earlier in the day, several hundred people packed Dodd Auditorium at the University of Mary Washington to wish them Godspeed and a safe passage home. [Fredricksburg.com]

As an interjection

Godspeed, bicycle advocates. [Curbed San Francisco]

May this be your legacy to the next generation. Godspeed. [Manila Bulletin]

Happy Father’s Day to dads in Hollywood and around the world. Godspeed. [LA Canyon News]

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