Cross my heart and hope to die

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by 810senior, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    I think most of languages have the phrase you would say when you make a promise and vow not to break it.

    In English:
    Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye (I know this quote came from the poem, right?)

    In Japanese:
    指きりげんまん嘘ついたら針千本飲ます yubikiri genman uso tsuitara hari senbon nomasu
    Have our fingers crossed, punch you ten thousand times, when you lie, let you swallow thousand needles.

    What about it in your language?
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  2. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:

    «Να πέσει φωτιά να με κάψει» [na ˈpesi foˈtça na me ˈkapsi] --> fire to fall (from above) and char me

    «Φιλάω Σταυρό» [fiˈla.o staˈvro] --> kiss the cross

    «Μάρτυς μου ο Θεός» [ˈmartis mu o θeˈos] --> God is my witness

    Ancient Greeks vowed to deities:

    «Νὴ (τόν) Δία» nḕ (tón) Díă --> by (the) Zeus; «νὴ (τόν) Ἀπόλλω» nḕ (tón) Ăpóllō --> by (the) Apollo etc.
    «Νὴ» nḕ is a particle of strong affirmation that when used with the name of the deity in accusative, invokes divinity. Correponds with Latin nē, really, perhaps from PIE *(h₁e)no-, that one.
  3. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL mod)

    French (lower Normandy)
  4. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    зуб даю /zub daiu/- I swear on my tooth (lit. I give my tooth)
    голову даю на отсечение /golovu daiu na otsechenie/- I swear on my head (lit., I give my head for cutting off)
    чтоб мне сдохнуть /tchtob mne sdokhnut/ - I swear on my life (lit., for me to croak)
  5. Ghabi

    Ghabi AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod

    Hong Kong
    It's not exactly used for swearing, but there's a rhyming saying in Cantonese (often used by a parent to admonish a child):

    講大話甩大牙 gong2 daai6waa6 lat1 daai6(ng)aa4 "tell big-words; fall big-teeth"

    "Big-words" mean "lies" in Cantonese (but da4hua4 means "bragging; boasting" in Mandarin, a pair of false friends), and "big-teeth" mean "molars": "You'll lose your molars if you tell lies!"
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  6. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Context? Just because I think it is mainly a scout promise or what....Czechs, French have the same...I cannot recall any Hungarian kids promise now
    But if you just want to hear a type of promise used by adults here you go:

    Hungarian -- Isten bizony! Becsszó! Ez a színtiszta igazság!
  7. ilocas2 Banned

    I must say that in Czech there is not the saying provided in the post #3 for French, I didn't find any ocurrence with those crosses except few translations of some French texts.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  8. ger4 Senior Member

    It's quite strange but I can't think of any similar expression in German either (I'll keep thinking though...)
  9. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    Thanks for lots of replies!
    I thought this type of vow phrase would be everywhere in the world so I need to take it back.

    Either way I'd like to add extra information to Japanese.
    We say this phrase as if we sang it in the case you make a promise with someone, so below are whole sentence and literal translation (it's so brutal in some points...):
    >Yubikiri gemman, uso tsuitara, hari senbon nomasu zo, yubi kitta
    Cutting a finger, punching you ten thousand times, when you lied, I let you swallow thousand needles, we've cut a finger

    to cut a finger refers to make a promise(the act of having each finger crossed) and we've cut a finger expresses itself that the promise has been made.
    Of course, we don't cut any finger actually.
  10. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    Yes.there is a need to revive it.I forgot the translation in Tagalog but I am not sure if other ethnic groups have the words of Honor to tell this.Tagalog folks have short phrase- maasahan mo ako.

Share This Page