Cross my heart and hope to die: (v) to attest to the truth of something
The human race is known for two things: first, being created in the image of God; and second, being a bunch of goddamn liars.
Within the elevation of these two bracing points, we are suspended between heaven and Earth.
Because of this, when we need to express our deepest sincerity to others, we don’t seem capable of just saying, “Yes, this is true,” or “No, it is not.”
We fear that our human audience, being fully aware of the vicious nature of deceit which inhabits us all, will just naturally assume that we are one of the “Fibber McGees.”
So we have introduced words, like “sincerely, honestly” and “trust me” into our language, hoping that in doing so, the true depth of our veracity will shine through.
So over our history, we’ve initiated other thoughts to try to prove that we are on the level. Basically, we’ve started swearing. Not profanity. No—deep-rooted promises to back up our premises.
- “I swear by my mother’s grave.”
- “I’ll swear on a stack of Bibles.”
- “I swear by my pinky finger.”
Or, “Cross my heart and hope to die.”
I guess this last one sounded effective to someone, thinking that threatening to remove one’s life from Earth might keep us from lying and cheating.
Of course, in reality, nothing prevents us from stretching the truth until it breaks and falls at our feet like useless trash.
So I think the suggestion that came along—to swear, make huge statements and crossing our heart and hoping to die—should probably just be replaced by a more old-fashioned dodge:
“Now what was the question?”