wear one's heart on one's sleeve

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wear one's heart on one's sleeve (third-person singular simple present wears one's heart on one's sleeve, present participle wearing one's heart on one's sleeve, simple past wore one's heart on one's sleeve, past participle worn one's heart on one's sleeve)

  1. (idiomatic) To be very transparent, open, or forthright about one's emotions.
    • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act 1, scene 1], line 64:
      Iago: For when my outward action doth demonstrate
      The native act and figure of my heart
      In compliment extern, 'tis not long after
      But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
      For daws to peck at: I am not what I am.
    • 1840, Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship, lecture 6:
      Such a man must have reticences in him. If he walk wearing his heart upon his sleeve for daws to peck at, his journey will not extend far!
    • 1915, Gilbert Parker, The Money Master, ch. 18:
      There was something very direct and childlike in Virginie Poucette. She could not pretend; she wore her heart on her sleeve.
    • 2011, Calvin Harris, Feel So Close, song:
      I feel so close to you right now, it's a force field. I wear my heart on my sleeve, like a big deal.


  • (to be emotionally transparent): to be an open book