Cross My Heart and Hope To Die?

Isn’t it strange how a phrase from our childhood can stay hidden for years, only to pop out of our mouths when we least expect it?

It happened when I was out for a before-breakfast walk with my husband.

We were chatting away in German (our usual language), when my husband said something that I didn’t believe (I just can’t for the life of me even remember what it was). 

Without thinking, I blurted out in English, “Cross your heart and hope to die!

You should have seen the look on my husband’s face. He had never heard me say anything like that before. 

So I had to explain the whole childhood ritual behind the phrase. 

You see, when we were children, we would say that phrase to make someone promise they were telling the truth. It was like a super serious promise, or else they’d be in big trouble with… well, let’s just say someone important.  And we’d even make an “X” on our hearts with our fingers while saying it.

Talk about a funny bilingual moment, right?  

Has anything similar happened to you? Do let me know.


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Foto Christine Sparks

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