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Thread: heart out

  1. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #1

    heart out

    I came across the phrase "eat your heart out". The basic meaning is this:

    Look at him dance! Eat your heart out, Fred Astaire (= he dances even better than Fred Astaire). (by courtesy of OALD)

    This is clear to me. However, I came across other, more "playful", usage of this phrase:

    He got up on the stage and sang his heart out. (He sang with a lot of energy and enthusiasm?)
    My wife shopped her heart out and I had to carry the bags. (She bought a lot of things?)
    Go ahead and eat your heart out! (Meaning eat as much as you please whatever you please?)


    Is my understanding of the three sentences (in parentheses) more or less correct?
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #2

    Re: heart out

    Yes

  3. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: heart out

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Yes.
    Please remember to use proper punctuation at the end of your answers/phrases/sentences.
    Last edited by charliedeut; 19-Oct-2012 at 16:37. Reason: forgot to remember something!
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: heart out

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    I came across the phrase "eat your heart out". The basic meaning is this:

    Look at him dance! Eat your heart out, Fred Astaire (= he dances even better than Fred Astaire). (by courtesy of OALD)

    This is clear to me. However, I came across other, more "playful", usage of this phrase:

    1) He got up on the stage and sang his heart out. (He sang with a lot of energy and enthusiasm?)
    2) My wife shopped her heart out and I had to carry the bags. (She bought a lot of things?)
    3) Go ahead and eat your heart out! (Meaning eat as much as you please whatever you please?)


    Is my understanding of the three sentences (in parentheses) more or less correct?
    More or less correct? Well, I'm going to go with "less". First, in your "Astaire" example, the phrase suggests to the listener that he/she should feel free to be envious of Astaire's performance. And the phrase is usually used in that way/for that purpose. On the other hand, your other examples would take on a different meaning as, "to the fullest". However, I would not use you expression in 2) not only for the expense but because it just doesn't fit well with shopping. In 3), it doesn't work because you used "eat...." for other than its typical/usual meaning.

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #5

    Re: heart out

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    Please remeber to use proper punctuation at the end of your answers/phrases/sentences.
    Remeber?

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: heart out

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    More or less correct? Well, I'm going to go with "less". First, in your "Astaire" example, the phrase suggests to the listener that he/she should feel free to be envious of Astaire's performance.
    Not for me. Eat your heart out means to me 'be envious, you can't match that'. It is Astaire who is being addressed.

  7. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: heart out

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Not for me. Eat your heart out means to me 'be envious, you can't match that'. It is Astaire who is being addressed.


    I was surprised by the OALD example. I didn't know Fred Astaire was the traditional addressee. I thought the speaker for the one occasion when I heard it (at the ADC Theatre in the early '70s) was being original. (It was the star of a student production of Dames at Sea, in an aside; and the trainee luvvies laughed like drains.)

    b

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    #8

    Re: heart out

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Remeber?
    Yes. Now you will surely remember this thread for a longer time

    Seriously, duly edited.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: heart out

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Not for me. Eat your heart out means to me 'be envious, you can't match that'. It is Astaire who is being addressed.
    Oops! Yes, I overlooked the fact that it was Astaire who was being spoken to.


  10. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: heart out

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    In 3), it doesn't work because you used "eat...." for other than its typical/usual meaning.
    Does anybody else think that the sentence

    Go ahead and eat your heart out! (Meaning eat as much as you please whatever you please?)

    is not right and doesn't correspond to the meaning in parentheses? I was quite dubious as to whether or not "eat your heart out" can be used like that. It is kind of difficult to find out the truth when one native (Tdol) says one thing (3 is more or less correct) while other (bilmcd) says another thing.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

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