It was in the time of the Roman Empire that St. Valentine is shelp to have actually left a note to his jailer’s daughter, “From your Valentine” before his execution on February 14. Today, many thanks to St. Valentine, cards expressing one’s heartfelt emovements, a. k. a. valentines, are given to that distinct someone.

You are watching: Wear your heart on your cheek meaning

To defer to a classic idiom: It’s a day to wear our heart on our sleeve.

We usage the phrase casually, to intend exposing our true eactivities, making ourselves fragile and also letting it all hang out. The phrase is so pervasive that from Ringo Starr to Eminem to Carrie Underwood, those words-turned-lyrics have actually found their means into a selection of musical genres.


Actress June Marlowe.

But, what type of sleeve? And why on a sleeve and also not a pants leg or roughly your neck? There’s no clear answer. But many kind of legends attempt to get at the heart (it is Valentine’s Day, after all!) of the issue and may define the resource of the saying. The three a lot of renowned stories:

1. In the Center Ages, Emperor Claudius II believed unattached guys made better soldiers so he declared marriage illegal. As a concession, he motivated temporary coupling. Once a year, in the time of a Roguy festival honoring Juno, males attracted names to identify who would certainly be their lady friend for the coming year. Once established, the man would certainly wear her name on his sleeve for the rest of the festival.

2. Around that exact same time, it’s speculated, once a knight performed in a jousting complement in the king’s court, he’d dedicate his performance to a womale of the court. By tying something of hers, favor a handkerchief, roughly his arm, he’d let the court understand the enhance would certainly safeguard the honor of that womale.

3. Or, we can credit Shakespeare, wright here it might have initially been videotaped in writing:

Iago:It is as certain as you are Roderigo,Were I the Moor, I would not be Iearlier.In adhering to him, I follow however myself;Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,But seeming so, for my peculiar end;For when my outward action doth demonstrateThe indigenous act and number of my heartIn match extern, ’tis not lengthy afterBut I will wear my heart upon my sleeveFor daws to peck at. I am not what I am.– Othello, Act 1, Scene 1, 56–65

In the circa 1603 play, Iback confesses to treacherous acts and states that by “wear my heart upon my sleeve,” or truly exposing himself, he’s basically invited babsence crow-like birds to peck away at him.


Heart-shaped tatas well. Image courtesy of Keltie Colleen

So possibly this Valentine’s Day, forgo the cloying Hallmark cards and flavormuch less Rusmarket Stover chocolates. Take a danger of letting the “daws” have actually their means via you by afsolving your darling’s name onto your arm. Or better yet, if you really, really suppose it, ink it ideal right into your flesh.


Girlfrifinish wears boyfriend’s photograph on her stocqueens, 1920s. Image courtesy of Dolores Delargo Towers

One step too far? Okay, how around simply plastering photos of your honey’s face onto your legs to show the human being what he really means to you.

See more: How Do You Say Dulce De Leche In English, How To Pronounce Dulce De Leche

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About Emily Spivack

Emily Spivack creates and also edits the sites Worn Stories and also Sentipsychological Value. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.