To help you feel in a suitably romantic mood for Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d collate some English expressions and idioms about love.
How love came about
As you might expect, love is almost as old as time…
According to Oxford Dictionaries, the word’s ancient root – Indo-European shared by Sanskrit lubhyati ‘desires’, Latin libet ‘it is pleasing’ – is also the source of Latin lubido ‘desire’ (which gave us libido in the early 20th century).
Interestingly, the use of love in tennis and squash for a score of zero apparently derives from the phrase to play for love, i.e. for the love of the game, not for money.
All you need is love
So, without further ado, here are 17 idioms about love to help you wear your heart on your sleeve! As usual I’ve included links with a few of these phrases and sayings, so that you can find out more about their origins and usage.
A labour of love = work undertaken for the pleasure of it or the benefit of a loved one
A love nest = a secluded retreat for lovers to meet
A love-rat = a man who betrays his girlfriend/wife
All’s fair in love and war = in war as in matters of the heart, the end may justify the means with few rules, if any
Cupboard love =
For the love of Mike (or Pete) = an exclamation of exasperation or surprise
Love/hate relationship = a couple who fight and argue a lot, but genuinely care for one another
Love in a cottage = a marriage with insufficient means
Love is blind = when you love someone, you can’t always see their faults
Love will find a way / Love conquers all = if it’s meant to be, it will happen
Make love not war = an appeal for peace and compassion (used as a pacifist anti-war slogan)
No love lost between = mutual dislike or animosity between two or more people
Not for love nor money = not at any price or in any circumstances
Puppy love = adolescent love or infatuation
To be/fall head over heels in love = to be/fall completely and irrevocably in love
Tough love = treating another person harshly in order to help them in the long run (similar to being cruel to be kind)
If you’ve enjoyed this collection of idioms about love, do check out some of my other blog posts in the idioms series – ranging from the very popular Christmas idioms to ones related to sports and education.
Over to you
Which of these idioms about love strikes the right chord with you? Any others that you’d care to add? I’d certainly never heard the one about the cottage before. Nor the one about Mike…
(images courtesy of hinnamsaisuy & renjith krishnan via Freedigitalphotos.net)