Sunday, 9 June 2013


I recall that when my grandmother heard or read something joyous in the news, she would say that 'it warms the cockles of your heart'.

Now personally I never have and never could eat a cockle, but of course we all know that cockles are bivalve molluscs which are often eaten as a seaside snack. How could they have anything to do with your heart? 

The answer is that they probably don't have a lot to do with it. 

The cockles of the heart are very likely its ventricles, which are called in Latin "cochleae cordis", from "cochlea" (snail), alluding to their shape.

Additionally, the cockle genus is called 'Cardium' from the Latin for 'heart'.

Finally, if you look at a cockle from the side, it is heart-shaped.

Ahh. After writing this the cockles of my heart feel lovely and toastie.

Image courtesy of [SOMMAI] /

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