honest Injun

or hon·est in·jun

[in-juh n]
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Origin of honest Injun

1870–75, Americanism; see Injun

Usage note

Honest Injun uses an informal, nonstandard spelling of Indian. Probably first used by Mark Twain, this expression is now dated and often perceived as insulting to or by American Indians. Though it came to mean “honestly or truly,” it may have had its origin in the contrary perception that Indians on the American frontier were not considered honest or trustworthy until they had proven themselves, for example, as scouts. See also Indian.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018