One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An edible burrowing bivalve mollusk with a strong ribbed shell.
- ‘Most bivalves lead a fairly stationary life, either anchored to rocks, like mussels, or buried in sediment, like razor-shells, cockles and clams.’
- ‘Shellfish such as oysters, mussels, cockles, winkles, whelks and crabs were collected for food from the estuaries and sea shores.’
- ‘Naturally I look for something a little different such as Pepperami, garlic sausage meat, strong smelling cheeses, cockles or mussels.’
- ‘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.’
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 pleasure or contentment.
- ‘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.’
- ‘The sixth race produced a contest to warm the cockles of your heart.’
- ‘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 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.’
- ‘But it would be stretching credibility to suggest much of this game warmed the cockles of your heart.’
- ‘Just thinking about that scene warms the cockles of my heart.’
- ‘It warms the cockles of my heart to hear of people so committed to our pastime.’
- ‘Few things warm the cockles of my heart more than pleasant memories of this novel.’
- ‘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.’
Middle English: from Old French coquille ‘shell’, based on Greek konkhulion, from konkhē ‘conch’.
(of paper) bulge out in certain places so as to present a wrinkled or creased surface; pucker.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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