warm the cockles of someone's heart
17th century, Unknown, possibly due to resemblance of cockles to hearts. Alternatively, may be corruption of Latin cochleae in cochleae cordis (“ventricles of heart”), or of Irish Gaelic origin. Possibly also inspired by mollusks opening when exposed to warmth, notably cooking.
- (idiomatic) To provide happiness, to bring a deeply-felt contentment
- (to provide happiness): warm someone's heart
- “Cockles of your heart”, World Wide Words, Michael Quinion, 3 Aug 2002.
- ^ James A. H. Murray [et al.], editor (1884–1928) A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), London: Clarendon Press, OCLC 15566697; and The Oxford English Dictionary; being a Corrected Re-issue with an Introduction, Supplement, and Bibliography of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (the First Supplement), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1933, OCLC 2748467.