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Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

Relieve one's mind by confessing or saying something that has been repressed. For example, I've got to get this off my chest—I can't stand his parents, or He admitted taking the dollar and said he was glad to get it off his chest. This expression uses chest for the seat of the emotions. [ c. 1900 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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