Posted by David FG on July 19, 2005
In Reply to: Re: Way to say "honestly" in the every-day British English? posted by Smokey Stover on July 19, 2005
: : Hi, people,
: : What is the customary idiomatic way to say "honestly" in the every-day British English? I mean, e.g. if I want to say something like "He is a real beast of a man. Honestly!" can I use the phrases "upon my soul", "upon my life"? Or probably there's something else with the same meaning?
: : Thanks in advance.
: What's wrong with "Honestly"? Not British enough? While I just love "Upon my soul!" I think you are a century or two too late to be saying that. You could perhaps provide the emphasis you think you need by something redundant, such as "He really is!" or "And that's the honest truth!" But if you wish to be terse I can think of nothing better than "Honestly!" or something more or less synonymous, like "Really!" or "Truly!" or "Really and truly!" SS
'Honestly' is perfectly idiomatic British English - SS is absolutely right about 'upon my soul' being perhaps a trifle old-fashioned, old bean.
Reluctant though I am to disagree with him though, I don't think 'really and truly' or 'and that's the honest truth' would be used by most British English speakers: somehow they don't sound right.