honest to God

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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
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References in periodicals archive ?
Now it's time for the 50th anniversary of Honest to God! In its day (1963) this small book opened up a S S passionatSe debate about God.
Newsagent Ian McGregor, who owns Pavalls opposite said: "The man who owns the parlour has three kids and he's stuck in there for three-quarters of an hour with this gunman while they are giving out tickets - honest to God!"
Honest to God! I'm the last person qualified to talk about the way people look - but then I'm not squealing out for attention the way those two are.