11 Other Ways to Say “God Forbid”

So, you want to use “god forbid,” but you’re worried that the religious connotations might make it offensive.

Don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place.

This article will explore a non-religious way to say “god forbid.” There are some great options available.

Other Ways to Say “God Forbid”

  • I can’t bear to think about it
  • Touch wood
  • I don’t want to think about it
  • Perish the thought
  • Heaven forbid
  • Dread to think
  • Dare I say it!
  • Let’s hope
  • Knock on wood
  • It’s not worth thinking about
  • I can’t even give it the time of day


  • “God forbid” is a great term to show that you don’t want to think about something, although it is religious.
  • Try using “I can’t bear to think about it” in formal situations.
  • “Touch wood” is a funny informal idiom that works well as a synonym.

There are plenty of useful alternatives available. Keep reading to learn more about the best ones and how you can use them in your writing.

You can also go to the last section to learn more about “god forbid.” We’ve explained whether it’s bad or sinful, which might help you make up your mind before using it.

I Can’t Bear to Think About It (Formal)

“I can’t bear to think about it” is another way to say “god forbid” with no religious connotations. It’s a great formal synonym, as it guarantees that you won’t offend anyone when using it.

Generally, you should use it when an employee has told you about the worst-case scenario of a business project. For example, they might only complete it after a deadline, causing a loss of profit, but you might not want to think about that as an option.

It’s a great phrase for letting people know that you are trying to think positively or ignore bad situations. It also suggests a lot of pressure surrounding the situation if things go wrong.

You should use “I can’t bear to think about it” in professional situations over “god forbid.” It shows more concern for the situation, making you sound more formal and polite.

Check out these examples to help :

I can’t bear to think about the alternative. You should not work with them in the future.

I can’t bear to think about it. I realize that things have been tricky, so I will extend the deadline.

Touch Wood (Informal)

“Touch wood” is a fun idiom you can use as an alternative to “god forbid.” Native speakers use it to wish themselves luck or hope for positive situations to prevail over negative ones.

It’s a great conversational synonym that many people take seriously. You’ll often find native speakers physically touching wood (or their foreheads, as a joke) when saying “touch wood.”

You should use it when speaking with a friend about potential outcomes. “Touch wood” suggests you want the best outcome, and you need all the luck you can get for that to occur.

However, do not use “touch wood” formally. Since it’s a fun idiom, it has no place in formal writing. “God forbid” is more effective, so you should be better off with that professionally.

Here are some examples to help you with it:

Well, touch wood so that this doesn’t happen again. I’m not sure how I’ll cope with a repeat of this!

Touch wood so that this is the end of it. We can’t keep going through the same thing!

Is It Bad to Say “God Forbid”?

It is not bad to say “god forbid” in most instances. It is a religious phrase, but many non-religious speakers also use it.

You’ll find it falls under the same umbrella as phrases like “oh my god!” While some religious speakers might see them as blasphemous, others outside of religious circles use them as simple exclamations with no sinful intent.

So, you don’t have to worry too much about “god forbid” if you aren’t religious. Of course, if you are, you might want to be more careful.

Also, if you are speaking with religious people, it’s wise to be respectful to them. Therefore, you might not want to say “god forbid,” as you might insult them.

You can always bookmark this page to keep the synonyms at hand! That way, you’ll always have an alternative that will replace “god forbid.”