"Honest to God and hope to die"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed Oct 9 15:53:11 UTC 2002

Someone (he happens to be the leading tax law scholar of all time) has
asked me the following question:  When he was a boy in Rochester, N.Y.
around 1925 he used the expression "honest to God and hope to die."  He is
wondering whether there is any dictionary or other source that would give
information as to the history or currency of this expression.

For what it's worth, when I was a boy in the early 1960s I was familiar
with the expression "cross my heart and hope to die," although I may have
gotten this from hearing it used in earlier movies or television show
reruns rather than from then-current usage.

Can anyone suggest anything?

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Public Services     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu               http://quotationdictionary.com

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