honest to goodness

Also found in: Acronyms.

honest to goodness

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

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, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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 ?
Honest to Goodness is the second major product launch for the company in a matter of months.
Honest to Goodness represents the positive choice for a healthy lifestyle as it provides light refreshment with no added sugar, alcohol, or artificial ingredients.
The sight of hundreds of people enjoying shopping in an environment not dominated by soulless malls and mega supermarket chains, but instead by honest to goodness local shops, made me feel that there can be a lot of virtue in a bit of reverse time travel.
The recipe booklet is divided into three chapters for ease of use--'Quick & Easy', 'Honest to Goodness" and 'Something Special'.
'I think based on that basic guidance that I gave them, they're really implementing an honest to goodness internal cleansing within the PNP, and that's good,' the senator said.
This is a serious investigation, honest to goodness investigation and bill will come out after this, there will be some amendments, but the timing depends on the leadership," he said.
The Ruckus - Nothing To Lose The Aberdeen five-piece's debut album is honest to goodness heritage rock.
'An honest to goodness drive to prosecute violators will surely help,' he said.
It is an honest to goodness, well made Rhone with lively acidity behind its smooth, fresh black currant fruit and a rounded spice and mocha finish.
'Dito sa atin sa Pilipinas if we do an honest to goodness examination of drivers, the way this is being done in other countries especially the US , I expect that more than 50 percent of the drivers in the Philippines will not pass,' Sotto said during a hearing of the Senate committee on public services.
It's probably just the result of honest to goodness booze and burgers, so leave her and her pot alone.
It was Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas who moved to end the period of amendments, noting that lawmakers were no longer proposing 'honest to goodness' amendments to the bill.
'Since this is very apparent what they're doing is not to introduce honest to goodness amendments I move to terminate the period of amendment,' Farinas said, to the opposition of anti-death penalty lawmakers.
'Kapag binuksan ang honest to goodness investigations, kailangan properly sagutin nila.
If Paje has a problem with that, I am daring him to stick his name to his 80-percent-survival-rate claim by executing a promissory note that if an honest to goodness counting of the trees/seedlings in the plantations will reveal a significantly lower figure, he will be personally held liable for the deficit.