Posted by Smokey Stover on April 26, 2006
In Reply to: Upon My Honor posted by Roger Bowers on April 25, 2006
: My father (born in East Tennessee, USA in the 1910's) always used the phrase..."'pon my honor"...or correctly..."Upon My Honor". I always wondered where he came to use that phrase. In 2003 I saw an English perios movie (1700-1800's) where the city folks arrived in their horse drawn carriage in front of their country folks estate...and as they stepped out of their carriage, the country relatives greeted them with..." Well, upon my honor, if it isn't cousin (so and so)...So, does that mean that the phrase "Upon My Honor" comes from the English and used in that period mentioned in the movie?...and does that mean in conclusion that my father may be from english ancestry?
"Upon my honor" is an old phrase that used to be quite common among English speakers, presumably including more than a few Americans. Why do you say "Upon my honor" is more correct that "'Pon my honor"? Contractions have a long history in our honourable language. If your dad was named Bowers, it's a fair guess that he came from English stock. Pity you can't ask him where he learned to say "'pon my honor." Could have been from HIS dad, or he could have read it somewhere and liked it. When I was in the fifth grade I repeatedly startled Miss Hobart by saying, "Mark my words." My parents had never said this at all, but I got it out of a book and liked it for a while--mercifully, only while in the fifth grade.
I'm eagerly waiting to hear what someone more English than I might say. SS