warm the cockles of someone's heart

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First documented use in 1671. Corruption of Latin cochleae (ventricles) in cochleae cordis (ventricles of the heart).[1][2] Earlier attempt to explain the etymology no longer noted in reference works: Possibly due to resemblance of cockles to hearts.[2]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Verb[edit]

warm the cockles of someone's heart (third-person singular simple present warms the cockles of someone's heart, present participle warming the cockles of someone's heart, simple past and past participle warmed the cockles of someone's heart)

  1. (idiomatic) To provide happiness, to bring a deeply-felt contentment.

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ American Heritage Idioms Dictionary
  2. 2.0 2.1 Michael Quinion (3 August 2002) , “Cockles of your heart”, in World Wide Words
  3. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.