"Honest to God and hope to die"

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Wed Oct 9 20:14:18 UTC 2002

I remember wondering about that the first time I heard another kid use the
phrase (way back in childhood--So. California, mid- to late 1940s).  My
puzzlement was cleared up when I heard a different kid recite the complete
oath, viz.:

"Cross my heart and hope to die
If I ever tell a single lie."

Now I only wonder why the heart-crossing part is even there--it seems

Peter Mc.

--On Wednesday, October 9, 2002 12:38 PM -0700 Peter Richardson
<prichard at linfield.edu> wrote:

> German "Hand aufs Herz" takes care of the heart-crossing, but as far as I
> know there's no accompanying wish for death. How old might that morbid
> thought be? (I'm assuming that what's behind it is something like "If I'm
> lyin', I'm dyin'.")
> Peter R.

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at linfield.edu

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