cockles of their heart


1 [kok-uhl]
any bivalve mollusk of the genus Cardium, having somewhat heart-shaped, radially ribbed valves, especially C. edule, the common edible species of Europe.
any of various allied or similar mollusks.
cockleshell ( defs 1, 2 ).
a wrinkle; pucker: a cockle in fabric.
a small, crisp candy of sugar and flour, bearing a motto.
verb (used without object), cockled, cockling.
to contract into wrinkles; pucker: This paper cockles easily.
to rise in short, irregular waves; ripple: The waves cockled along the shore.
verb (used with object), cockled, cockling.
to cause to wrinkle, pucker, or ripple: The wind cockled the water.
cockles of one's heart, the depths of one's emotions or feelings: The happy family scene warmed the cockles of his heart.

1350–1400; Middle English cokille < Middle French coqille < Vulgar Latin *cocchīlia, Latin conchylia, plural of conchȳlium < Greek konchȳ́lion, equivalent to konchȳ́l(ē) mussel + -ion diminutive suffix; compare Old English -cocc, in sǣ-cocc literally, sea-cockle < Vulgar Latin *coccus for Latin concha conch Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cockle1 (ˈkɒkəl)
1.  any sand-burrowing bivalve mollusc of the family Cardiidae, esp Cardium edule (edible cockle) of Europe, typically having a rounded shell with radiating ribs
2.  any of certain similar or related molluscs
3.  short for cockleshell
4.  a wrinkle or puckering, as in cloth or paper
5.  a small furnace or stove
6.  cockles of one's heart one's deepest feelings (esp in the phrase warm the cockles of one's heart)
7.  to contract or cause to contract into wrinkles
[C14: from Old French coquille shell, from Latin conchӯlium shellfish, from Greek konkhulion, diminutive of konkhule mussel; see conch]

cockle2 (ˈkɒkəl)
any of several plants, esp the corn cockle, that grow as weeds in cornfields

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1311, "mollusk," from O.Fr. coquille "a blister, shell, cockle," alt. by infl. of cock, from L. conchylium, from Gk. konkhylion "little shellfish," from konkhe "mussel, conch." Phrase cockles of the heart (1669) is perhaps from similar shape, or from L. corculum, dim. of cor "heart." Unrelated O.E. coccel
was the name of a flowering weed that grows in wheatfields and was used in M.E. to translate the Bible word now usually given as tares. It is in no other Gmc. language and may be from a dim. of L. coccus "grain, berry."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Cockle definition

occurs only in Job 31:40 (marg., "noisome weeds"), where it is the rendering of a Hebrew word (b'oshah) which means "offensive," "having a bad smell," referring to some weed perhaps which has an unpleasant odour. Or it may be regarded as simply any noisome weed, such as the "tares" or darnel of Matt. 13:30. In Isa. 5:2, 4 the plural form is rendered "wild grapes."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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