Old Bill used it

Posted by R. Berg on January 14, 2002 at

In Reply to: To wear one's heart on one's sleeve posted by Marian on January 14, 2002

: I believe I understand the meaning of this phrase (to show one's emotions openly, particularly longing or adoration for another person) but I wonder about its origin.

The earliest quotation in the OED for this phrase is from "Othello," 1604:
'Tis not long after But I will weare my heart vpon my sleeue for Dawes to pecke at. (I. i. 64)