It’s one of those words that you’re basically aware of (you’ve heard people in black and white films exclaim it in frustration or whatever. Or you imagine that they might do because you may well have never actually watched such a thing) but aren’t quite sure of its precise meaning. Then it goes to the trouble of being exactly what you would have guessed it was if you’d gone to the bother of thinking what it could possibly mean. It’s a bastardisation of the word damnation. See? Mildly disappointing. Especially when you consider its potential.
Think about it. Tar nation. Perhaps it’s a euphemism for a country of smokers. They’re killing themselves with nicotine they are down in that tarry nation. Or perhaps it’s an old school disciplinary action by a particularly old school dictator or king. Go forth and tar the nation for they have greatly displeased me with their non compliance of my every whim. Tar them and feather them while you’re at it. See how much they enjoy being oversized and sticky chickens. Then next time they will know to obey me. If they continue with their rebellious ways I shall have to escalate their punishment to carnation where we shall crush their cars into tiny cubes and hit them around their heads with them.
Tarnation could mean something so much better. On the other hand, my iPhone seems to think it was ever so much more likely that I did in fact mean to type Tarantino. You don’t know me, Apple product. I’m well aware that you used to belong to my brother but you work for me now. Get it together. I am a person who is really far more likely to be contemplating the finer meanings of a slightly obscure word than wanting to write about the oeuvre of that particular director).