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Heart in hand

Posted by TheFallen on May 29, 2003

In Reply to: Heart in hand posted by ESC on May 28, 2003

: : : : Can you please help me with the meaning of the saying, "heart in hand" ? Thanks so much.

: : : I've never heard that expression. I've heard "hat in hand" and "heart on your sleeve."

: : : From "Brush Up Your Shakespeare!" by Michael Macrone (Gramercy Books, New York, 1990):
: : : "Heart on My Sleeve.
: : : IAGO:
: : : It is sure as you are Roderigo,
: : : Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago.
: : : In following him, I follow but myself;
: : : Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
: : : But seeming so, for my peculiar end;
: : : For when my outward action doth demonstrate
: : : The native act and figure of my heart
: : : In complement extern, 'tis not long after
: : : But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve.
: : : For daws to peck at. I am not what I am.
: : : Othello, Act 1, scene 1, 56-65

: : : .when your heart is displayed so openly, as if upon your sleeve, the 'daws' (jackdaws) will accept the invitation to pick away at it. By admitting to his treachery, Iago would seem, in effect, to 'wear his heart on his sleeve' for Roderigo. Yet, while Iago tells the truth, he doesn't tell all of it, and keeps hidden his true 'native act and figure' - his intention to dupe Roderigo out of even more jewels and cash."

: : Bartleby's on-line dictionary has:

: : WILLINGLY &c. adj.; fain, freely, as lief, heart and soul; with pleasure, with all one's heart, with open arms; with good will, with right good will; de bonne volonté [F.], ex animo [L.], con amore [It.], heart in hand, nothing loath, without reluctance, of one's own accord, graciously, with a good grace; without demur.

: "Heart in hand" sounds like the title of a murder mystery.

I have heard this expression, and it does differ in meaning in my opinion from "heart on one's sleeve". As stated above, to "wear one's heart on one's sleeve" means to show one's true feelings involuntarily. To go to someone "heart in hand" means that you declare your emotions voluntarily, with the image being that of an offering to whomever you're meeting. The downside is of course that, if you go "heart in hand", you're putting yourself in a very vulnerable position, if your declaration of love is subsequently spurned - your heart would then be trampled in the dust.