Please, consider the following statements of the book Hamlet:

“How now, Horatio? You tremble and look pale.
Is not this something more than fantasy?
What think you on ’t?
Before my God, I might not this believe
Without the sensible and true avouch
Of mine own eyes.”

What does the term before my god mean? Is the meaning of it no different from the phrase as god is my witness?


1 Answer 1


As God as my witness is typically used with resolutions, threats, or promises - e.g. things you will do in the future.

Before my God, X is like saying "X would/wouldn't happen even if you were before God" - which is better if X is someone believing that something is true.

The underlying meaning is the same, that you are really serious about X.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .