honest


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

God's honest truth

The absolute, unequivocal truth (i.e., as if spoken by God). I'm sorry if such criticism offends you, but it's simply God's honest truth.
See also: honest, truth

open and aboveboard

Fully visible to public scrutiny; completely and openly honest or legitimate. Though some regulators have expressed concern over the merger of the two multinationals, everything about the deal has been open and aboveboard.
See also: aboveboard, and, open

an honest buck

Honest, legal work or income. Often used in the phrase "make/earn an honest buck." Primarily heard in US. After 10 years working for the mob, Jeremy was ready to finally start making an honest buck.
See also: buck, honest

make an honest buck

To earn money in an honest, legal manner. Primarily heard in US. After 10 years working for the mob, Jeremy was ready to finally start making an honest buck.
See also: buck, honest, make

earn an honest buck

To earn money in an honest, legal manner. Primarily heard in US. After 10 years working for the mob, Jeremy was ready to finally start earning an honest buck.
See also: buck, earn, honest

honest injun

An expression used to emphasize the veracity of one's statement. Based on an informal spelling of "Indian" (i.e., Native American), the phrase is somewhat dated and may be considered offensive. Primarily heard in US. I swear it wasn't me who broke the lamp, honest injun!
See also: honest, injun

an honest mistake

A mistake made unintentionally or unknowingly and without the intention of causing harm; a mistake that anyone might have made in similar circumstances. It was an honest mistake! How was I to know that you wouldn't want me to send that letter with the rest of the mail?
See also: honest, mistake

honest to Pete

Honestly; truly; genuinely. An expression used to emphasize the veracity of one's statement, "Pete" here is a substitution of the word "God," so as to avoid potential blasphemy. I swear it wasn't me who broke the lamp, honest to Pete! Honest to Pete, how are we supposed to finish this project on time with half of our staff laid off?
See also: honest, Pete

the honest truth

The sincere, unadulterated truth. I swear it wasn't me who broke the lamp, that's the honest truth! The honest truth is that I don't really see this relationship working out in the long run.
See also: honest, truth

if I'm honest

A phrase used to underscore that one is sharing one's true feelings. It is often used when the speaker is reluctant to speak truthfully. A: "So how do you feel about this plan?" B: "Well, if I'm honest, I think it's a big mistake."
See also: honest, if

to be honest

A set phrase used to emphasize that one is speaking truthfully (and perhaps reluctantly). Well, to be honest, I've never liked her husband that much. I know you guys love going to bars on Saturday night, but to be honest, it really doesn't interest me.
See also: honest

turn an honest penny

To earn money in an honorable and legitimate way, typically through one's hard work. I used to swindle people, but I turn an honest penny these days, I swear! You're 40 years old—you need to get a job and start turning an honest penny.
See also: honest, penny, turn

be as honest as the day is long

To be very truthful and reliable. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Tom is as honest as the day is long—if he promised to help you move, then he'll be here. Kate would never cheat on an exam—she's as honest as the day is long.
See also: honest, long

make an honest woman (out) of (someone)

To marry a woman that one is dating. You've been dating Carrie for quite some time now, Pete. When are you going to make an honest woman out of her?
See also: honest, make, of, woman

honest to God

Honestly; truly; genuinely. An expression used to emphasize the veracity of one's statement. I swear it wasn't me who broke the lamp, honest to God! Honest to God, how are we supposed to finish this project on time with half of our staff laid off?
See also: god, honest

honest to goodness

Honestly; truly; genuinely. An expression used to emphasize the veracity of one's statement, "goodness" here is a substitution of the word "God," so as to avoid potential blasphemy. I swear it wasn't me who broke the lamp, honest to goodness! Honest to goodness, how are we supposed to finish this project on time with half of our staff laid off?
See also: goodness, honest

honest and aboveboard

 and open and aboveboard
Fig. in the open; visible to the public; honest. Don't keep it a secret. Let's make sure that everything is honest and aboveboard. You can do whatever you wish, as long as you keep it honest and aboveboard. The inspector had to make sure that everything was open and aboveboard.
See also: aboveboard, and, honest

Honest to goodness.

 and Honest to God.; Honest to Pete.
I speak the truth. (Some people may object to the use of God in this phrase.) Did he really say that? Honest to goodness? Honest to Pete, I've been to the South Pole.
See also: goodness, honest

keep someone honest

to manage to make someone behave honestly and fairly and tell the truth. I love to tell about our vacations, and my wife is usually with me to keep me honest.
See also: honest, keep

make an honest woman of someone

Fig. to marry a woman. (Intended as jocular.) So you finally made an honest woman out of Denise. She had wanted Max to make an honest woman of her, but you can't depend on Max to do anything right.
See also: honest, make, of, woman

honest to God

Also, honest to goodness or Pete ; honest Injun. Truly, really, as in Honest to God, I didn't know it was yours, or Honest to goodness, we had exactly the same experience, or I promise I'll finish in time, honest to Pete, or Honest Injun, I didn't take your wallet. These colloquial assertions date from about 1900, except for honest Injun, dating from the late 1800s and today considered offensive.
See also: god, honest

open and aboveboard

Also, honest and aboveboard. Candid and fair, without deceit or trickery, as in I'll join you, but only if everything remains open and aboveboard. Both versions of this expression are redundancies, since they use open and aboveboard in the sense of "honest." The latter word, dating from the early 1600s, comes from gambling and alludes to the fact that card players who do not keep their hands on the table (board) may be suspected of changing their cards under the table.
See also: aboveboard, and, open

honest as the day is long

OLD-FASHIONED
If someone is as honest as the day is long, they are very honest. This boy is hard-working, ambitious, and honest as the day is long.
See also: honest, long

make an honest woman of someone

If a man makes an honest woman of his girlfriend, he marries her. Her boyfriend had e-mailed to say he couldn't live without her and if she would join him in Australia he would make an honest woman of her. Note: This expression is used humorously.
See also: honest, make, of, woman
References in classic literature ?
The altercation was conducted in a low tone of voice, and terminated in the honest tradesman's kicking off his clay-soiled boots, and lying down at his length on the floor.
Cruncher added to himself: "Jerry, you honest tradesman, there's hopes wot that boy will yet be a blessing to you, and a recompense to you for his mother
cried the honest mint-master, resuming his seat in Grandfather's chair, "take these shillings for my daughter's portion.
Honest Simone, Wool-selling or wool-gathering is for you.
The man is but a very honest knave Full of fine phrases for life's merchandise, Selling most dear what he must hold most cheap, A windy brawler in a world of words.
Why, I myself am on the way to Newark," quoth merry Robin, "so that, as two honest men are better than one in roads beset by such a fellow as this Robin Hood, I will jog along with thee, if thou hast no dislike to my company.
Why, as thou art an honest fellow and a rich fellow," said the Corn Engrosser, "I mind not thy company; but, in sooth, I have no great fondness for beggars.
My child," said Cornelius, "I have nothing to give you in exchange for the service you are rendering us but the Bible which you will find in my room; it is the last gift of an honest man; I hope it will bring you good luck.
But, at the same time, if any honest reader shall have derived more pain than pleasure from its perusal, and have closed the last volume with a disagreeable impression on his mind, I humbly crave his pardon, for such was far from my intention; and I will endeavour to do better another time, for I love to give innocent pleasure.
As we do not disdain to borrow wit or wisdom from any man who is capable of lending us either, we have condescended to take a hint from these honest victuallers, and shall prefix not only a general bill of fare to our whole entertainment, but shall likewise give the reader particular bills to every course which is to be served up in this and the ensuing volumes.
The marshal of the province in whose hands the law had placed the control of so many important public functions--the guardianship of wards (the very department which was giving Levin so much trouble just now), the disposal of large sums subscribed by the nobility of the province, the high schools, female, male, and military, and popular instruction on the new model, and finally, the district council--the marshal of the province, Snetkov, was a nobleman of the old school,--dissipating an immense fortune, a good-hearted man, honest after his own fashion, but utterly without any comprehension of the needs of modern days.
Why, honest, now, I'd sooner fight before an audience of one--you for instance, or anybody I liked.
A busy and a troublesome arm it often proves to be here, in this land of America; where, as they say, man is left greatly to the following of his own wishes, compared to other countries; and happier, ay, and more manly and more honest, too, is he for the privilege
I was a little at a stand in this discourse; but after some pause I told him I had rather have depended upon him, because I had found him honest, but if that could not be, I would take his recommendation sooner than any one's else.
Put that i' the right words--you know how--and then write, as I don't forgive Wakem for all that; and for all I'll serve him honest, I wish evil may befall him.