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Eat your heart out"

Posted by ESC on February 12, 2006

In Reply to: Eat your heart out" posted by lula on February 12, 2006

: Smokey Stover posted an OED definition in response to my question about the phrase "eat your heart out". Thanks. I remember seeing in the tantalizing snippet that my search engine turned up, but could no longer locate, a reference to Aelian (sp?) fields that made me think that this phrase may have its origins in Greek or Roman literature. I'm sorry to be so tenacious, but if anyone has any further ideas about this phrase's classical literary origins, I'll be most grateful.

You may be on to something.

"...The ancient Greeks had an expression (quoted by Plutarch as a 'Parable of Pythagoras') that translates as 'Eat not the heart.' It meant not to consume oneself with troubles or worries, which could be almost as devastating as eating one's heart." "Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).