Vocabulary: what the hell is a "cockle", anyway?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Lady Sabine, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. First things first: no googling, binging, yahooing, or using any other form of searching. No asking other people. No consulting dictionaries or thesauri. You may do absolutely no research at all.

    Now, as for the challenge. I, like many English speakers, have heard the phrase "warmed the cockles of my heart" more times than I care to try and count. What I've never heard is an accurate explanation of what the actual fuck a "cockle" really is. I've heard of cockleburs and I think a cockle is like a clam or something, but that answer simply does not suffice.

    I want to hear what you, Iwaku, have always thought about the word "cockle".

    Your challenge is to explain in your own words what the "cockles" of the heart actually are.

    You may be as serious or as humorous or as crazy as you'd like, but please, do not look up the real answer until after you've posted your piece. If you wish to make corrections and include what you've discovered "cockle" to mean, please hide it in a spoiler tag so that the glorious mystery won't be ruined for others until after they've written their piece.

    Thank you and have fun!​
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  2. I've always thought of the cockles as the 4 chambers of your heart, where the two different kinds of blood (oxygenated and not) get pumped to where they need to be.

    And apparently I was right. That's anticlimactic.
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  3. I didn't think of it like that before O.o interesting...
  4. A cockle is a shellfish, a type of clam. It lives in the Northern seas. When most shellfish are cooked, they open up. So I think to warm the cockles of someone's heart is to cause a heart that was cold and closed up to warm enough to open up to others.
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  5. Wow, this really changes the meaning for me. I don't eat any shellfish so I didn't even think about the whole popping open thing. :o
  6. The only place I've heard of a 'cockle' is 'Mary, Mary, quite contrary'.
    'Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
    How does your garden grow?

    With silver bells and cockle shells,
    And pretty maids all in a row.'
    So, I always thought of cockles as flowers. I'm going to run with the flower thing here.
    So, really any plant will only sprout or grow when the weather is warmer. Based on that, 'warming the cockles of the heart' would mean, making it warmer so the plant starts to grow, and if it's a blooming plant, then it'll grow a flower. Whether it's talking about shellfish or flowers, it still has a nice sentiment. :)
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