warm the cockles of someone's heart
First documented use in 1671. Corruption of Latin cochleae (“ventricles”) in cochleae cordis (“ventricles of the heart”). Earlier attempt to explain the etymology no longer noted in reference works: Possibly due to resemblance of cockles to hearts.
- (idiomatic) To provide happiness, to bring a deeply-felt contentment
- (to provide happiness): warm someone's heart
- ^ American Heritage Idioms Dictionary
- “Cockles of your heart”, in Michael Quinion, World Wide Words, 3 Aug 2002.
- ^ James A. H. Murray [et al.], editor (1884–1928) A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), London: Clarendon Press, OCLC 15566697; and The Oxford English Dictionary; being a Corrected Re-issue with an Introduction, Supplement, and Bibliography of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (the First Supplement), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1933, OCLC 2748467.