believe it or not

Idioms & Phrases

believe it or not

It's true, whether or not you agree, as in Believe it or not, I finally finished painting the house. Originating in the 1800s, this phrase gained currency as the title of a cartoon series begun in 1918 by Robert Ripley and continuing to run in American newspapers long after his death in 1949. Each drawing presented a strange but supposedly true phenomenon, such as a two-headed chicken.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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