Did Val Kilmer’s Doc Holliday Say ‘I’m Your Huckle Bearer,’ Not ‘Huckleberry’?

Actor Val Kilmer, whereas portraying gunslinger Doc Holliday within the 1993 Western movie “Tombstone,” repeated the catchphrase, “I’m your huckle bearer,” not “I’m your huckleberry,” as is usually thought.

Fact Check

Actor Val Kilmer so iconically embodied nineteenth century gunslinger Doc Holliday within the film “Tombstone” that when he stated the road “I’m your huckleberry,” it turned a part of in style tradition. The phrase stays in style, even almost twenty years because the movie’s 1993 launch.

But the recognition of the phrase had some questioning — did they misremember the precise phrases spoken by Kilmer within the film, or did everybody hear it mistaken the primary time, and have been quoting the road erroneously ever since, in a traditional case of Mandela Effect?

Some have taken to social media to precise the assumption that Kilmer actually stated, “I’m your huckle bearer,” as in a single in style 2021 TikTok video:

We acknowledge that, as spoken within the film, the final syllable within the phrase “huckleberry” could also be ripe for interpretation as a result of Kilmer is utilizing a Southern accent and saying it extra like “huckleberr-uh.”

We can affirm he really stated “huckleberry,” not “huckle bearer,” as a result of he stated so himself on social media in 2014:

@gourmetspud I say each “I’m your huckleberry” AND “I’ll be your huckleberry…” I say it twice within the movie.

— Val Kilmer (@valkilmer) November 18, 2014

But if the supply of the quote himself isn’t sufficient to persuade some, the “Tombstone” script might be discovered on-line, the place readers can affirm for themselves that the road is “I’m your huckleberry,” not “I’m your huckle bearer.”

Kilmer additionally titled his memoir, you guessed it, “I’m Your Huckleberry.”

Why Do Some Think Kilmer, as Doc Holliday, Said ‘Huckle Bearer’?

Doc Holliday was an actual historic determine who lived from 1851 to 1887. Born John Henry Holliday, he had aristocratic Southern roots and educated as a dentist, making his manner out West the place he gained a repute as a gunfighter, gambler, and pal of Wyatt Earp. Holliday and his companions are well-known for his or her function within the shootout on the O.Ok. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

Some imagine that if the actual Doc Holliday stated any such phrase, it will have been “I’m your huckle bearer,” as a result of, they assert, the time period “huckle bearer” was at the moment the equal of “pallbearer,” and Holliday, a well-known gunfighter, would have meant it as a risk.

“In the South, a huckle was a casket handle. A huckle bearer would be the person carrying a coffin, essentially a pallbearer,” the journey web site Texas Hill Country reported in 2020.

Some sources point out that “I’m your huckleberry,” within the sense used within the film, was an idiom within the South within the 1800s and meant, kind of, the best one who was up for no matter job or motion was being proposed.

The phrase is used, for instance, within the 1883 novel, “The Bread-Winners: A Social Study,” by John Hay. In the ebook, the character Sam Sleeny utters the phrase when being complimented by one other character, John Offitt.

“I like a man that can hold his tongue,” Offitt says, to which Sleeny replies, “Then I’m your huckleberry.”


“I’m Your Huckleberry.” Idioms Online, 2 Feb. 2019, https://www.idioms.online/im-your-huckleberry/.

“The Truth About the Meaning of Doc Holliday’s Line I’m Your Huckleberry.” Texas Hill Country, 11 Nov. 2020, https://texashillcountry.com/truth-meaning-doc-holliday-huckleberry/.

Hay, John. The Bread Winners: A Social Study. Harper, 1883.


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