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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
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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.

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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

protected by NVZ Feb 17 '17 at 12:58

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