In "Games People Play" from album "The turn of the friendly card" by the Alan Parsons Project, we hear:

Games people play/You take take it or you leave it/Things that they say/Honor Brite/If I promise you the Moon and the Stars/Would you believe it/Games people play in the middle of the night

What does Honor Brite mean in this context? I have heard that the song might bear links with Eric Berne's eponymous psychology book, does it help?

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    Methinks it were an easy leap to pluck bright honour from the pale-faced moon, wrote William Shakespeare more than 400 years ago. The (primarily BrE) affirmation/oath-swearing [On my] honour bright is pretty dated today. – FumbleFingers Mar 7 '16 at 20:44
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    You may hear 'honor brite', but are those the actual lyrics? Could they be 'are not right'? – AmI Mar 7 '16 at 22:15
  • @AmI I'll dig my old CDs to check again in the original sleeve – Laurent Duval Mar 7 '16 at 22:43
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    @Aml, Laurent, I checked my original LP jacket, and it is correct: Honor Brite... – Jim Mar 8 '16 at 4:16
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    In the 1952 movie "O. Henry's Full House"; Richard Widmark taunts Dale Robertson with , used in a pejorative sense, catcalls of being "Honour Bright". – user180454 Jun 11 '16 at 11:04

That use reflects this colloquial sense:

P9. colloq. honour bright: used as an expression of, or interrogatively as an appeal to, one's honour or sincerity. Cf. honest Injun at Injun n. b. Now somewhat arch.

("honour | honor, n.". OED Online. March 2014. Oxford University Press. Accessed March 08, 2016.)

Its meaning is an interjected "on my honor it's true what I say!" In the context of the surrounding lyrics, it emphasizes that what is said during the games "in the middle of the night" is neither sincere nor true.


The origin of this phrase comes from Troilus and Cressida, by William Shakespeare (1609):

"Perseverance, dear my lord, Keeps honor bright: to have done, is to hang Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail In monumental mockery."

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    This does not answer the question. This tells of the origin, but not the meaning. Please edit your question to include the meaning or it will most likely be deleted. – Hank Feb 16 '17 at 16:31

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