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The expression is "warming the cockles of your heart," that is delighting your innermost feelings.

OR PERHAPS

Kachels (pronounced cockles) are tiles covering stoves and fireplaces (kachelovens) that radiate heat. The expression "May it warm the cockles of your heart" is a corruption of the phrase, "May it warm the kachels of your hearth." A kacheloven is fuel efficient and radiates heat long after the fire is out. Suggest you look up "kachels."

This explains why the phrase is always associated with warming.

The first explanation is consistent with the Oxford English Dictionary, but I think the OED has not made the obvious connection. They go on at length about cockles, how the heart resembles the shell of a mollusk, etc.

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โˆ™ 2011-02-24 15:50:51
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Q: What does the saying warming your cockles mean?
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