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Cold hands, warm heart

Cold hands indicate affection, possibly because the emotions affect blood circulation.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with cold hands, warm heart

cold hands, warm heart

Not showing one's feelings does not signify lack of feeling. For example, Dan rarely sends flowers or anything, but he's a case of cold hands, warm heart. Why a literally cold hand should indicate sympathy or affection is not really clear, but this expression has been so used since about 1900, and the Germans have an identical saying (kalte Hand, warmes Herz).

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.