May this piece of bread choke me, if what I say is not true. In
ancient times a person accused of robbery had a piece of barley bread,
on which the mass had been said, given him to swallow. He put it in his
mouth uttering the words given above, and if he could swallow it
without being choked, he was pronounced innocent. Tradition ascribes
the death of the Earl Godwin to choking with a piece of bread, after
this solemn appeal. (See Corsned .)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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