After My Own Heart: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
November 3, 2023

When we talk about the idiom "after my own heart," we're referring to someone who shares similar likes, preferences, or dispositions with ourselves.

In short:

"After my own heart" describes someone with similar tastes and preferences as oneself.

What Does “After My Own Heart” Mean?

The phrase "after my own heart" means someone who thinks, behaves, or has interests similar to one's own. For example, if someone loves playing chess and then meets someone new who also loves playing chess, they might say, "Ah, a chess player after my own heart!"

  • It expresses a sense of similarity or shared preferences.
  • It often conveys admiration for someone who thinks or acts similarly to oneself.
  • It is often used in a somewhat playful or affectionate manner and is common in informal contexts.

Where Does “After My Own Heart” Come From?

The phrase “after my own heart” is an idiomatic expression that means someone has likes and dislikes similar to one’s own. This expression appeared around the early 1600s and is found in the King James Bible. It has been considered a cliché since the late nineteenth century, according to The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer.

Historical Example

The phrase appears in the Old Testament's first Book of Samuel (13:14), where it is stated:

"The Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people."

10 Examples of “After My Own Heart” in Sentences

Let's explore how "after my own heart" can be used in different contexts:

  • Starting at a young age, John, a man after my own heart, showed a love for animals.
  • “You enjoy reading too? You’re a person after my own heart!”
  • She is a woman after my own heart, always finding the high and low in every situation.
  • Despite the modern design of the artwork, the artist, a man after my own heart, incorporated classical elements.
  • She's a writer after my own heart, focusing on the same themes of social justice and equality that I do.
  • Sarah always recycles and volunteers at the animal shelter; she's truly a person after my own heart.
  • She often felt in sync with people after her own heart.
  • The team, after my own heart, worked diligently to complete the project.
  • It's not just about finding someone after your own heart; it's about mutual respect and understanding.
  • He often wondered if those after his own heart shared his passion for change.

These examples showcase the versatility of the idiom in various situations and perspectives.

Examples of “After My Own Heart” in Pop Culture

Over the years, "after my own heart" has made its mark in popular culture:

  • After My Own Heart by Sophia Blackwell: This book explores the complexities of love and relationships.
  • Shepherds After My Own Heart by Timothy Laniak: This book delves into the importance of shepherding in religious contexts.
  • V for Vendetta (2005): The line "A man after my own heart" appears in this dystopian political thriller.
  • Antz (1998): General Mandible says, "You're an ant after my own heart, an ant who looks death in the face and laughs." This line is about courage and fearlessness.
  • Girl After My Own Heart by Maddie & Tae: This song is about a girl who is attracted to a man and is unapologetic about it.
  • You're After My Own Heart by Rosemary Clooney: This song is a classic tune about love and connection.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say “After My Own Heart"

There are several ways to express a similar sentiment:

  • Kindred spirit
  • Soulmate
  • Like-minded individual

Each term offers a slightly different nuance but revolves around the same core concept.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About “After My Own Heart”:

  • What does “after my own heart” mean?

It refers to someone who shares similar tastes, preferences, or values as oneself.

  • Where did the idiom originate?

The idiom has biblical origins, specifically from 1 Samuel 13:14.

  • Is it used in literature?

Yes, it is used in literature and other forms of writing to express similarity or admiration.

  • Can it be used in a negative context?

Generally, it is used positively, but context can change its tone.

  • Is it used globally?

While the idiom is understood in many places, cultural context and language differences may affect its global use.

  • Can it be used to describe non-human things?

It is typically used for people, but creative use may extend it to non-human subjects.

  • Does it always refer to romantic contexts?

No, it can refer to any situation where similarities or shared preferences are highlighted.

  • Is it a formal or informal idiom?

It is neutral and can be used in both formal and informal contexts.

  • Can it be used in professional settings?

Yes, it can be used to express professional alignment or similarity in work ethics and values.

  • How can “after my own heart” be used in a sentence?

“After my own heart” can be used to express affinity or similarity with someone else. For example, “My grandmother, who always has a book in hand, is truly a woman after my own heart.”

Final Thoughts About “After My Own Heart”

The phrase indicates that someone aligns closely with your preferences, perspectives, or personality. Describing someone as "after my own heart" suggests you have found a kindred spirit who really gets you and likes the same things you do. It highlights a sense of bonding over common interests or an alignment in thinking.

  • It symbolizes a connection based on shared values, beliefs, or preferences.
  • The phrase's biblical origins add depth and historical context to its modern usage.
  • It is a versatile idiom used in various contexts to express admiration and alignment in thought and feeling.
  • Understanding the historical and contextual background of "after my own heart" enhances its meaningful use in language and expression.

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