Cross My Heart and Hope to Die

The saying, "Cross my heart" (sometimes followed by "hope to die") is a way children swear that what they say or promise is completely true and sincere. 

When I was a child, growing up in New York, we said…

Cross my heart
and hope to die,
stick a needle
in my eye.

While you say it you make an "x" over your heart like in the animated gif below.

According to my teenage daughter, in our area today, kids simply say, "Cross my heart," to show they’re sincere.

Monique wrote from France:

"When we were children we said:

Croix de bois, croix de fer,
Si je mens j’irai en enfer.

(Wooden cross, iron cross,
If I lie, I’ll go to hell.)

We would say it while putting out our hand (like in the image below) and spitting on the ground.   It comes from the way agreements were passed long ago.  One spat in one’s hand and shook hands with the other person."

Geste jurer

Are there any sayings where you live to show that what you said is true?  Please share them in the comments below.


Mama Lisa

Monique Palomares works with me on the French and Spanish versions of Mama Lisa’s World.

Image: Naturalization Ceremony Grand Canyon (cc)

This article was posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 at 8:31 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, England, English, Folk Lore, France, French, Languages, Oaths, Sayings, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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