an Englishman’s word is his bond

c 1500 Lancelot of Lake (STS) 1.1671 O kingis word shuld be o kingis bonde.

a 1606 Nobody & Somebody C2v Nobodies worde is as good as his bond.

1642 T. FULLER Holy State V. XIII. He hath this property of an honest man, that his word is as good as his band.

1754 RICHARDSON Grandison I. Letter ix. I am no flincher... The word of Sir Rowland Meredith is as good as his bond.

1841 DICKENS Old Curiosity Shop lviii. ‘Marchioness,’ said Mr. Swiveller, rising, ‘the word of a gentleman is as good as his bond—sometimes better, as in the present case.’

1916 F. VANE Letter 14 Sept. in M. Gibbon Inglorious Soldier iii. [List of fictions underlying national conceit:] 3. That English justice is something much more superfine than any other sort of justice (owing to Public School training!) and that an Englishman’s word is his bond.

1981 A. GRAHAM-YOOLL Forgotten Colony xvi. If a verbal promise is made the native, to seal the contract, usually says palabra de inglés,..meaning that he will act as an Englishman, whose word is his bond.


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