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The meaning and origin of the expression: Absence makes the heart grow fonder

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Absence makes the heart grow fonder

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Meaning

The lack of something increases the desire for it.

Origin

The Roman poet Sextus Propertius gave us the earliest form of this saying in Elegies:

"Always toward absent lovers love's tide stronger flows."

The contemporary version appears in The Pocket Magazine of Classic and Polite Literature, 1832, in a piece by a Miss Stickland:

'Tis absense, however, that makes the heart grow fonder.

The phrase was also source material for the lewd wordplay:

"Absinthe makes the fart grow stronger".