Posted by: Dutch | October 28, 2009

Wear your heart on your sleeve

Meaning

Display one’s emotions openly.

Origin

This phrase may derive from the custom at middle ages jousting matches. Knights are said to have worn the colours of the lady they were supporting, in cloths or ribbons tied to their arms.

The term doesn’t date from that period though and is first recorded in Shakespeare’s Othello, 1604. In the play, the treacherous Iago’s plan was to feign openness and vulnerability in order to appear faithful:

Iago:

It is sure as you are Roderigo,

Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago:

In following him, I follow but myself;

Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,

But seeming so, for my peculiar end:

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.

– Special thanks to Gary Martin of The Phrase Finder

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: