One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An edible burrowing bivalve mollusc with a strong ribbed shell.
Genus Cardium, family Cardiidae
- ‘Shellfish such as oysters, mussels, cockles, winkles, whelks and crabs were collected for food from the estuaries and sea shores.’
- ‘Most bivalves lead a fairly stationary life, either anchored to rocks, like mussels, or buried in sediment, like razor-shells, cockles and clams.’
- ‘While Brits eat turkey at Christmas, Spaniards look forward to festive feasts of clams, crabs, cockles, mussels, octopus and goose barnacles.’
- ‘As is true of most bivalves bearing the name cockle, it looks something like a human heart when viewed from the side.’
- ‘Naturally I look for something a little different such as Pepperami, garlic sausage meat, strong smelling cheeses, cockles or mussels.’
2literary A small, shallow boat.
- ‘The crew of both remaining cockleshells placed limpet mines on the merchant ships they found in the harbour.’
warm the cockles of one's heart
Give one a comforting feeling of contentment.
- ‘The good old Scottish weather can make conditions rough through the winter months, and the cold water does nothing to warm the cockles of your heart.’
- ‘This is not likely to warm the cockles of your heart, but it can be hugely seductive and at times totally absorbing in its intensity.’
- ‘I am really, really happy with the way these photos came out and it would warm the cockles of my heart if you went and perused them.’
- ‘The sixth race produced a contest to warm the cockles of your heart.’
- ‘Ah, it warms the cockles of your heart, doesn't it?’
- ‘For those with decadent dreams and a dismal credit rating, the following advice will warm the cockles of your heart.’
- ‘Just thinking about that scene warms the cockles of my heart.’
- ‘But it would be stretching credibility to suggest much of this game warmed the cockles of your heart.’
- ‘Few things warm the cockles of my heart more than pleasant memories of this novel.’
- ‘It warms the cockles of my heart to hear of people so committed to our pastime.’
Middle English: from Old French coquille ‘shell’, based on Greek konkhulion, from konkhē ‘conch’.
(of paper) form wrinkles or puckers.‘thin or lightweight paper cockles and warps when subjected to watercolour’wrinkle, crinkle, crumple, rumple, ruck up, scrunch up, corrugate, ruffle, screw up, crease, shrivel, furrow, crimp, gather, draw, tuck, pleatView synonyms
Mid 16th century: from French coquiller ‘blister (bread in cooking)’, from coquille ‘shell’ (see cockle).
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