Expression meaning

Posted by Word Camel on August 14, 2002

In Reply to: Expression meaning posted by Laura D on August 14, 2002

: can anyone please enlighten me as to the meaning of the expression "with my heart in my throat"?

It means to be nervous or frightened. I think it refers to the way people can sometimes feel tightness in the throat when they are terrified for something.

Incidently, I think it's different to having a lump in the throat which is usually associated with being moved almost to the point of tears, often in a positive way.

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable also lists:

Heart in his Boots
His heart fell into his hose or sank into his boots. In Latin, "Cor illi in genua decidit. " In French, "Avoir la peur au ventre. " The two last phrases are very expressive: Fear makes the knees shake, and it gives one a stomach-ache; but the English phrase, if it means anything, must mean that it induces the person to run away.

Heart in his Mouth
His heart was in his mouth. That choky feeling in the throat which arises from fear, conscious guilt, shyness, etc.

"The young lover tried to look at his ease, ... but his heart was in his mouth," - Miss Thackeray; Mrs. Dymond, p. 156.