A Heart of Gold and Other Heart Idioms

The heart was once believed to be the seat of our emotions, and that is the basis for the idioms about the heart. When you say that someone has a heart of stone, it doesn’t mean that their heart is made out of stone even though that is what it sounds like. It means that the person has a mean or cruel nature. The heart has nothing to do with it.

blood flow through the heart valves, simple wikipedia

Anatomically, the heart is a powerful muscle. Each time it beats, it sends oxygenated life-giving blood throughout our human body.

The heart does respond to the many emotions that we feel. Maybe that is why ancient people once thought that it was also responsible for our emotions. When we feel scared or horrified, our heart beats faster. Sometimes it beat so furiously that it feels as though it is going to fight its way out of the chest. It will quicken with joy when we see a loved one after a long absence. When we fall in love, our hearts feel light and happy, full of joy. When someone we love dies, our heart will feel as though it is ripping down the center and breaking.

Our brains send signals to our heart telling it how to beat. Still, down through the years, many idioms about the heart have been created.

I don’t feel that it is necessary to tell just what each idiom means, so this is more of a list article. There are notes after just a few of the idioms. But if you don’t understand exactly what one of them means, the internet makes to find the exact meaning of each one.

heart of gold, pixabay

a big heart

after one’s own heart

a heart of gold

a heart of stone – this signifies a mean or cruel nature

all heart

at heart – in reality, fundamentally, basically

bare one’s heart

bleeding heart

break someone’s heart

by heart

bleeding heart, public domain pictures

capture/steal/win (one’s) heart

close/dear/near to (one’s) heart

cross one’s heart

didn’t have the heart

do someone’s heart good

eat one’s heart out – An article I’ve written, Eat Your Heart Out, explains this idiom.

faint of heart

find a way into/to (one’s) heart

find it in (one’s) heart

follow (one’s) heart

breaking heart, public domain pictures

from the heart

gladden the/(one’s) heart

harden (one’s) heart

have (one’s) heart set on

have (one’s) (best) interests at heart

heart goes out to

heart in (one’s) mouth

heart is in the right place

heart of ice

heart of the matter

hearts and minds

heart of ice, public domain pictures

heart’s desire

heart skips a beat

heavy heart

from the bottom/depths of (one’s) heart

in (one’s) heart of hearts

know (one’s) heart

lose heart

matters/affairs of the heart

melt (one’s) heart

nearly gave (one) a heart attack

(one’s) heart bleeds for

(one’s) heart is knocking

(one’s) heart is not in it

(one’s) heart leaps

(one’s) heart melts

(one’s) heart sinks

open (one’s) heart

out of the goodness/kindness of (one’s) heart

pour (one’s) heart/soul out

put (one’s) heart into

sick at heart

strike fear into (one’s) heart/into the heart of (one)

heart of stone, pixabay

take heart

take (something) to heart

to (one’s) heart’s content

warm (one’s)/the cockles of (one’s) heart

wear (one’s) heart on (one’s) sleeve

with a sinking heart

with all (one’s) heart

young at heart

girl writing, etc.usf.edu

Do you know of any more heart idioms that you would like for me to add to this list? If so, please comment.

Writing Exercise: Look through the list of heart idioms. Choose your favorite one, research it, and write a story based on it. This article was written for Valentine’s Day, but who says your story needs to be a romance? You could write a mystery. Or maybe a horror story is crying to be written. A story of suspense could be at the tips of your fingers. You could also make your story a combination of several genres.

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