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an elaboration of Ye gods! - a 17th century variant of 'oh my God'
(probably intended to avoid blasphemy)
FIRST DOCUMENTED USE
1830 - The National Magazine and Dublin Literary Gazette
The Antiquity of Joint Stock Companies Vindicated
"But of all combinations of those 'by-gone ages,' ye gods and little fishes! what a glorious pick-pocket company might be established between ..."
(special thanks to S.O.)
From: Little Men:
Life at Plumfield with Jo's Boys
By Louisa M. Alcott, 1888