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Wear your heart on your sleeve

Posted by ESC on October 02, 2000

In Reply to: "Wear your heart out on your sleve" posted by Cristy on October 02, 2000

: What does "wear your heart out on your sleve" mean?

If you "wear your heart on your sleeve," everyone knows your feelings/emotions.

"DON'T WEAR YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE - Don't let other people know how you're feeling or what you're thinking. The saying dates back to Shakespeare's 'Othello' (1604-05). First attested in the United States in 'Strephon and Sardon' ." From Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

From "Brush Up Your Shakespeare!" by Michael Macrone (Gramercy Books, New York, 1990). "Heart on My Sleeve.
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."