honest to God

Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

honest to God

1. expression Honestly; truly; genuinely. 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?
2. adjective Genuine; actual. In this usage, the phrase is hyphenated. It was a real, honest-to-God treasure map. I couldn't believe me eyes.
See also: god, honest, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, to
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

honest to ˈGod/ˈgoodness

used for emphasizing the truth of what you are saying: I didn’t tell anybody — honest to God! ▶ ˌhonest-to-ˈgoodness adj. (approving) simple and good: This book is an honest-to-goodness attempt to describe life as a political leader.
See also: god, goodness, honest, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

honest to goodness/God/Pete

Truly; I swear this is true. These assertions of veracity date from about 1900. The earliest seems to have been honest to God, which appeared in Jack London’s Valley of the Moon (1913). Goodness and Pete are probably euphemisms for “God,” which some might have considered blasphemous. Another equivalent, now considered offensive, is honest Injun (or Indian), dating from the second half of the 1800s and popularized by Mark Twain in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
See also: god, goodness, honest, Pete, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
After he killed his partner, dad of nine and unemployed alcoholic Peter Wyatt confessed to son Andrew in a phone call to prison: "I've killed her, honest to God. I strangled her."
But mum Ann said: "Honest to God, they were smashing.
Natalie said: "Honest to God you couldn't make it up.
Kirstie said: A"Honest to God truth, without Scientology, I would be dead.
Chase says of the final mysterious scene: "No one was trying to be audacious, honest to God. We did what we thought we had to do.
Honest to God, Taffy!' That night, as he lay in bed, Taff wondered what his mother and father would have made of him lending money to a man to help him sleep with another man's wife.
"Honest to God, I'm tired of hearing `Chariots of Fire' at 2 a.m.," Rose said of the Academy-award winning instrumental.
Honest to God, it was like a scene from a Hitchcock movie.
Another painting sold at the Art Fair had the explanatory title: "It was not me that knocked your wall down, honest to God", recalling an incident with an irate farmer while Peter was out walking.
"I, honest to God, think it would be interesting to be Paris Hilton or Cameron Diaz, just to see what it's like to be one of those hottie glamour women."
What Colt needs is a true life, honest to God capitalist at the helm instead of a retired Marine general with no apparent business sense.
He added: "Honest to God, they've got a good chance of beating those guys.
I've started to get recognised wherever I go - on the streets, in Tesco, in the kebab shop, on the bus and even in family planning the other day - honest to god. Everyone's heard about my near arrest 'wheely-bin-bed' experience!
This country needs leadership that is honest to God, to the Constitution of the United States, to the laws of the land, and to the citizens whom they serve.