Posted by: Jack Henry | December 22, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Heart to Hart

Dear Editrix,

Where does the idiom “from the bottom of my heart” come from? I’ve sent you a photo to help with your research.


Man in Monett

Hey, man!

I looked around at quite a few sites for information on this idiom. None of them seemed to have a single, definite answer that I could prove, but they all indicated that the phrase has existed for hundreds of years. One site said that it was part of a hymn book from the 1500s. Several sites traced it back to Greece and Rome. Here is some information from Owlcation that seems plausible:


Meaning: With sincere and deep thanks or love

Origin: The ancient Greek philosopher, Archimedes, believed that it was the brain that pumped blood and that the heart was responsible for thinking or feeling. Therefore, saying, "I love you" or "thank you", "from the bottom of my heart" would be the most meaningful because that was where most of your feelings would be.

Another theory held that the heart is like a container that fills up with feeling (again, eluding that the heart controls emotion). This would mean that the bottom of the heart is usually the fullest…kind of like a tank that continuously refills itself. The bottom is never really empty. Hence, the bottom of the heart contains the fullest of emotion.

As for the photo, it didn’t necessarily help my research, but the little buckaroo is adorable and his picture made me feel like going skiing (not hunting).

From the bottom of his hart and the heart on his bottom.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

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