Would you like to tell someone that they share the same point-of-view or values as you do? The phrase ‘a man after my own heart’ is a common expression in the English language that can be used to say just that – and it’s not just exclusive to men. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this common saying.
The phrase ‘a man after my own heart’ is a common saying in the English language that is used to mean that someone shares the same viewpoint or values as the speaker.
The saying is figurative, and ‘after my own heart’ is used to mean that someone sees things in the same way, or that they share the same values: the phrase implies that two people are being united over something and not literally that their hearts are the same.
The most common use of the phrase is as an observational statement.
The phrase can be said directly to someone, or about someone in conversation.
The saying ‘a man after my own heart’ can be changed to say ‘a person after my own heart’ or ‘a woman after my own heart’, with the sex or gender changed.
The phrase can also be used in the plural form, but only where the speaker refers to more than one person or a group of people.
For most of its applications, the whole phrase is used. A speaker can shorten the phrase to ‘after my own heart’ and the rest of the phrase is assumed to be understood.
“My grandfather always used to call my dad a man after his own heart. That’s why they got along so well when they went along to that booze cruise in Vietnam.”
“He’s a man after my own heart: that’s how we know we’re going to get along well if we start a business together.”
“She wears high heels and then goes jogging at three in the morning while listening to Cindy Lauper. That’s a woman after my own heart, I’ll tell you.”
“He’s a man after my own heart, and he’s the only man I’ve ever seen who can eat a whole stack of White Castle burgers faster than all of us.”
The phrase ‘a man after my own heart’ is agreed by most online language resources to be a common expression that comes from the King James Version (KJV) Holy Bible.
The saying comes from a longer verse that appears in Samuel 13:14, where David is referred to as someone that is after God’s own heart.
As it’s used in the Biblical context, the phrase ‘man after my own heart’ means that David is beloved by God and shares the same values.
The phrase would become common in the English language (and some others) through translations of the Bible.
Phrases Similar to A Man After My Own Heart
- Kindred soul
Phrases Opposite to A Man After My Own Heart
What is the Correct Saying?
- A man after my own heart
Ways People May Say A Man After My Own Heart Incorrectly
There are several ways in which someone can use the saying ‘a man after my own heart’ in the wrong way.
The phrase does not translate well as a direct phrase into all languages, and might have very little frame of reference in languages or cultures where the Biblical phrase is not as popular.
Considering the grammar, someone cannot say ‘a man after my own hearts’ and ‘heart’ is kept in singular.
Acceptable Ways to Phrase A Man After My Own Heart
The right way to use the phrase ‘a man after my own heart’ is to use it as a reference to someone who shares the same values or thoughts as the speaker.
The phrase can be used as a direct term, or as a third-party reference when speaking about someone.
The phrase can be altered to ‘woman’ or ‘person’ with the meaning of the phrase remaining the same.