Posted by ESC on May 07, 2004
In Reply to: Tugging at heartstrings posted by SR on May 07, 2004
: The child's plight just 'tugged at my heartstrings.'
: Why "heartstrings?" Any idea of the origin? Is the heart here synonomous with a musical instrument? If so, why 'tugged' and not 'plucked' or 'played?' I play a few stringed instruments but have never 'tugged' at the strings.
Here's an explanation of what a "heartstring" was thought to be:
1 obsolete : a nerve once believed to sustain the heart
2 : the deepest emotions or affections. Pulled at his heartstrings.