Heart Idioms in the English Language: More than Just a Beat

In the rich tapestry of the English language, idioms breathe life into our conversations, making them vibrant and colourful. Some of these idioms revolve around a universal symbol of emotion, passion, and life itself - the heart. While the anatomical heart keeps our physical bodies alive, idioms using 'heart' add a soulful essence to our linguistic exchanges. Let's delve into some of the most popular and intriguing heart idioms.

List of Heart Idioms:

  1. Heart of Gold
  2. Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve
  3. Change of Heart
  4. Heart Skips a Beat
  5. Close to Your Heart
  6. Have a Heart
  7. Cross My Heart and Hope to Die
  8. Heart in Your Mouth

Meaning & Examples:

Heart of Gold

Meaning: To describe someone who is kind and generous.

Example: Sarah has a heart of gold, she is always ready to help anyone in need.

Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve

Meaning: To openly display your emotions or feelings.

Example: John wears his heart on his sleeve, you can always tell how he is feeling.

Change of Heart

Meaning: A shift in one's opinion or feelings.

Example: Initially, I didn’t want to go to the concert, but I had a change of heart.

Heart Skips a Beat

Meaning: To experience a sudden wave of excitement or fear.

Example: Every time I see her, my heart skips a beat.

Close to Your Heart

Meaning: Something that you deeply care about.

Example: Climate change is a subject close to my heart.

Have a Heart

Meaning: An appeal to someone’s kindness or compassion.

Example: Please, have a heart and donate to this charity.

Cross My Heart and Hope to Die

Meaning: A promise that you intend to keep.

Example: I promise to keep your secret, cross my heart and hope to die.

Heart in Your Mouth

Meaning: To be extremely nervous or scared.

Example: Every time I have to give a speech, my heart is in my mouth.


While these idioms have specific meanings, it's fascinating how they reflect the symbolic association of the heart with emotions, morality, and profound experiences. It's a testament to the influence of cultural metaphors on language.

Questions and Answers:

Q1: Are these idioms used in both American and British English?
A1: Yes, these idioms are commonly used in both American and British English, although their frequency might vary.

Q2: Can I use these idioms in formal writing?
A2: Generally, idioms are more suited to informal or conversational contexts. While they can occasionally be used in formal writing for effect, it's essential to ensure that the meaning is clear to the reader.

Interesting Quotes from Celebrities

"I may wear my heart on my sleeve, but I am no one's fool." - Princess Diana.

"I'd rather have a heart of gold than all the treasure of the world." - Angelina Jolie.

"Every time I step on the stage, my heart skips a beat, the excitement is always there." - Mick Jagger.


Heart idioms add warmth and human touch to our language. They enrich our communications by adding an emotional depth that literal phrases often cannot. So, don't be afraid to use them, wear your heart on your sleeve, and let your language beat with the rhythm of the heart. Who knows? You might even find these idioms becoming close to your heart. Remember, language is not just about correctness, but also about connection and creativity.

Whatever the idiom, whatever the context, the 'heart' of the language will always beat strong, reflecting the very essence of our shared human experience.

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