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My heart in my throat

Posted by Smokey Stover on March 21, 2006

In Reply to: My heart in my throat posted by Miri Barak on March 21, 2006

: I would like to know what exactly is the feeling he expresses in this:
: He hears that his daughter is not alive and this is his reaction. is it fear or sorrow, or both?

: Thank you very much

To have one's heart in one's throat, or in one's mouth, is often used as though it were purely some sort of figurative expression. But it comes from an actual sensation resulting from the emotional state of fear or anxiety. So the father in your quotation is reacting with fear and anxiety, if the author is using the expression in the normal way. The OED gives, as its first relevant citation, "1548 UDALL Erasm. Par. Luke xxiii. 199 Hauyng their herte at their verai mouth for feare, they did not belieue that it was Iesus." SS