as I live and breathe

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Originally a reference to the fact that the speaker’s statement is as true as the fact that the speaker is alive (see sense 2).

PronunciationEdit

PhraseEdit

as I live and breathe

  1. Used to express surprise at something one is witnessing.
    Synonyms: as I live, I declare (US)
    • 1992, Örn, “When the Footprints Become Covered with Snow”, in Kirsten Wolf and Árný Hjaltadóttir, transl., Western Icelandic Short Stories, Winnipeg, Man.: University of Manitoba Press, →ISBN, page 138:
      Well, well, as I live and breathe, it's Svend! My, what a great and dangerously huge fellow you have become!
  2. (dated) Used to declare the truth of something with emphasis.
  3. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see as,‎ I,‎ live,‎ and,‎ breathe.

TranslationsEdit

Further readingEdit