Heart-related idioms in English Posted by Gabriele on Jul 28, 2015 in English Language, English Vocabulary
The heart is not just an essential organ of the human body; it is also considered the center of love, compassion, bravery, and emotions. There are so many phrases, expressions, and idioms in English connected to the word ‘heart’ that I thought it was time we take a look at some them. Below I have listed a number of idioms in which the word ‘heart’ is featured. As you will see there is often a lot of emotion connected with these idioms too. I have also provided examples of use and a short fill-in the blank exercise for you to try out your understanding of these new expressions at the end of the post. Enjoy!
to be after (one’s) own heart – a way of describing someone who is similar to you or does things in a way that makes you happy
Example: Jill is a cook after my own heart; she always makes food that I love.
a bleeding heart – a person who feels sympathy or compassion for everyone/everything, even when it is undeserved
Example: Kate is such a bleeding heart she takes in all the feral cats that are in her neighborhood.
to cross (one’s) heart and hope to die – this is a saying that is an emphatic or expressive way of making a promise
Example: I cross my heart hope to die, I will never tell anyone what you said.
in a heart’s beat – very fast
Example: I’ll be back in a heart’s beat, I promise.
to eat (one’s) heart out – to feel jealous, angry or bitter about something
(This phrase is usually used when describing or talking about someone else, not one’s self.)
Example: Eat your heart out Julie, I got the diamond necklace from mom and you didn’t!
to get to the heart of (something) – to get to the most important part or details
Example: When we finally got to the heart of the matter I could understand why everyone was so upset.
a heart of gold – a kind or generous person
Example: Joe is the kindest person I know, he truly has a heart of gold.
(one’s) heart goes out to (something) – to feel great sympathy
Example: My heart goes out to all the parents who lost their children in the accident.
a/the heart to heart – a conversation that is intimate and truthful;
Example: I finally had the heart to heart I needed to have with my brother about his wife.
to know (something) by heart – to have something memorized perfectly
Example: The children were asked to know their telephone numbers and addresses by heart by the end of the week.
to take heart – to be encouraged or to be brave about something
Example: I told Emily to take heart; that the worst was past her now.
Fill in the blank exercise:
1) The parents ______________________ knowing that their son was in a better place now.
2) Shelly is such a _______________________. She loves every animal she sees, even the ugly, old, and lame ones. She thinks they are all cute.
3) I _________________________________, I will never tell anyone your secret.
4) Dinner will be ready ____________________, so please sit down at the table right now.
5) Donna is so nice to me all the time. I swear she has a _________________.
1) took heart; 2) bleeding heart; 3) cross my heart and hope to die; 4) in a heart beat; 5) heart of gold
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