warm the cockles of someone's heart



17th century, Unknown, possibly due to resemblance of cockles to hearts.[1] Alternatively, may be corruption of Latin cochleae in cochleae cordis (ventricles of heart),[1] or of Irish Gaelic origin. Possibly also inspired by mollusks opening when exposed to warmth, notably cooking.


to warm the cockles of someone's heart

  1. (idiomatic) To provide happiness, to bring a deeply-felt contentment
    • 1671 John Eachard:[2]
      This contrivance of his did inwardly rejoice the cockles of his heart.


  • (to provide happiness): warm someone's heart

Related termsEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 Cockles of your heart”, World Wide Words, Michael Quinion, 3 Aug 2002.
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1884-1928, and First Supplement, 1933
Last modified on 12 January 2014, at 02:15