eat one's heart out

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Disputed. Three schools of thought exist:

  • From "This will eat your heart out.", suggesting that the recipient of the taunt will have their heart, the core of their being, eaten out with desire, bitterness, or pain.
  • From the 16th century "to eat one's own heart" (to suffer in silence from anguish or grief), possibly from the Bible "to eat one's own flesh" (to be lazy).
  • When used as the taunt "Eat your heart out, [someone]!" a suggestion that the recipient of the taunt "eat up" as much as they like. Figuratively more akin to "experience me besting you."


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eat one's heart out

  1. (idiomatic) To feel overwhelming sorrow, jealousy, or longing; to grieve.
    The Brazilians are eating their hearts out over their defeat by Germany in the World Cup.
    Eat your heart out, pal! We won the title!