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An expression used to emphasize the veracity of one's statement. Based on a colloquial spelling of "Indian" (i.e., Native American). One of many expressions often considered offensive for making reference to Native American stereotypes or tropes. Primarily heard in US. I swear it wasn't me who broke the lamp, honest injun!
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.
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.
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 Injunhonestly; really. dated
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017