Heart on sleeve

Posted by Bob on May 20, 2000

In Reply to: Heart on sleeve posted by sarah on May 19, 2000

: Where does the phrase "I wear my heart on my sleeve" come from. I know Shakespeare quotes it in Othello but what does it mean and where does it come from?

I don't know of any uses before Shakespeare, but there may have been. Or... Will was known to coin a phrase or two. It means I do not conceal my feelings; my emotions (usually love and devotion) are visible for all to see. The sense also includes a feeling of vulnerability: when you wear your heart on your sleeve, you risk rejection and pain.