Posted by Victoria S Dennis on June 19, 2007
In Reply to: Sleeve posted by ESC on June 19, 2007
: : What does "To wear one's feelings on their sleeve" mean?
: See http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/4/messages/1360.html
Shakespeare got the image from the custom of lords giving their retainers and supporters distinctive badges to wear. If you wore a badge of the Stafford knot sewn to your sleeve, everybody could see that you were a supporter of the Earl of Stafford; anybody wearing a white boar badge was telling the whole world that they owed allegiance to the Duke of Gloucester. So logically, if you wore your own heart on your sleeve, you were showing everybody your innermost feelings. (VSD)