Here is a sentence:

I'll be hanged if it isn't the Stacey store again, shouted the man next me on the engine as the horses lunged up the avenue and stopped at the allotted hydrant.

This is a hyperbolic saying, but I'm a little bit confused, is the speaker sure that its the Stacey store or he isn't sure? Thank you in advance.

  • Cf. "Example sentences with 'damned if I know'" glosbe.com/en/en/damned%20if%20I%20know
    – Kris
    Mar 2, 2020 at 12:42
  • 1
    "I'll be hanged if ..." means "Well, if it isn't ...". Mar 2, 2020 at 13:47
  • I'll be hanged if it isn't is like two negatives. I do not want to be hanged, but I won't, because it is. Since it is the Stacey store, I will not be hanged. Mar 9, 2020 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


The speaker is sure that it is the Stacey store.

He is so sure that it is the Stacey store, that if he is wrong, he will be executed by hanging. Obviously, this is hyperbole - he won't really be executed.

  • Thank you for leading me to the right understaning
    – Helen
    Mar 2, 2020 at 12:21
  • This is correct as far as I know, but a reference would be good. I can't find anything exact, although Cambridge dictionaries online has "I'll be hanged if I know" = "used to say that you certainly do not know" dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/…
    – Stuart F
    Mar 2, 2020 at 12:31
  • Yes me too i checked the reference, but the examples there made me confused
    – Helen
    Mar 2, 2020 at 12:43
  • 2
    Wiktionary: if it isn't... (past tense if it wasn't) - Observes, with some surprise, that a specified thing or person is present. "Why, if it isn't Bill! Come on in, Bill!". Where Why = I'll be damned = I'll be hanged. Mar 2, 2020 at 13:10

You must log in to answer this question.