Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
Each week, this program explains the many meanings of English expressions.
Today’s expressions include a very important word – heart.
We will try to
get to the heart of the matter to better understand the most important
things about words and their stories. So take heart. Have no fear about
learning new expressions. Besides, popular English words can be fun. There is
no need for a heavy heart. Such feelings of sadness would only break
my heart, or make me feel unhappy and hopeless.
Now, let us suppose you and I were speaking freely about something private.
We would be having a heart to heart discussion. I might speak from
the bottom of my heart, or say things honestly and truthfully. I might
even open up my heart to you and tell a secret. I would speak with
all my heart, or with great feeling.
When a person shares her feelings freely and openly like this, you might say
she wears her heart on her sleeve, or on her clothing. Her emotions are
If we had an honest discussion, both of us would know that the other person’s
heart is in the right place. For example, I would know that you are a
kind-hearted and well-meaning person. And, if you are a very good
person, I would even say that you have a heart of gold. However, you
might have a change of heart based on what I tell you. Our discussion
might cause you to change the way you feel about something.
But, let us suppose you get angry over what I tell you. Or worse, you feel no
sympathy or understanding for me or my situation. If this happens, I might
think that you have a heart of stone. And, if you say something to make
me frightened or worried, my heart might stand still or skip a
Yet, even though you may be angry, I would know that at heart, you are
a kind person. In reality, you do care. And any argument between us would not
cause me to lose heart or feel a sense of loss.
My heart goes out to anyone who loses a friend over an argument. It
really is a sad situation, and I feel sympathy for the people involved.
I promise that what I have told you today is true – cross my
I really wanted to play some music at the end of this feature. In fact, I
had my heart set on it. So here it is, “Don’t Go Breaking my
Heart” by Elton John.
This VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, was written by
Jill Moss. I’m Faith Lapidus.