I have actually constantly uncovered the expression "a man after my very own heart" exceptionally endearing. It expresses a fond kinship in a charming method.

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However before, tbelow are (at least) two definitions of the word after that would make feeling in this phrase.

One is after in the sense of in imitation of someone, in various other words, "your heart takes after or resembles my very own."

The other is in the sense of following or pursuant, as in "you are attempting to win my affection."

My question is, which meaning of "after" is intended in this expression?

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asked Sep 3 "11 at 19:32

Kit Z. Fox♦Kit Z. Fox
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I think it counts on the conmessage you use it, and also what you intfinish by it, for sure, it might be used either method in widespread speech. As the commenter discussed it is originally from the Bible in referral to God"s see of King David, a male after God"s own heart. (1Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22 if you are interested.) In both situations the precise interpretations of the Greek and Hebrew prepositions (le and kata respectively) are pretty wide, however, the context renders it clear that the interpretation was basically "a guy that seeks the same goals and also desires that I have."

However before, I don"t think the beginnings are sufficiently famous to provide a firm and clear interpretation to the idiom, so I think it have the right to pretty a lot be supplied in any type of way that the grammar and semantics enable, including your two choices.

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answered Sep 3 "11 at 19:57

Fraser OrrFraser Orr
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The Phrase Doctor gives both the interpretation and apparent beginnings of the expression, creating that:

Meaning A kindred soul - someone I deserve to agree with.

Additional, this interpretation is by a lot of accounts from the King James variation of the Holy bible.

Based on this meaning--that it indicates "a kindred spirit"--then after seems to take on this rarer definition detailed in the OED:

In compliance through the wishes of.


c1395 Chaucer Wife of Bath"s Tale 406 And eek I pray to Jhesus schort her lyves, That wil nought be governed after her wyves <6– message bi>.

a1500 (1460) Towneley Plays (1994) I. xxii. 278 Pylate, execute after vs, And dam to deth Iesus.

As these examples were written both before and after the King James Holy bible (which was written in 1611), this is most likely the same usage of after as was discovered there.

The OED additionally explains that the use of heart right here is one that is now obsolete, meaning:

Intent, will, purpose, inclicountry, desire. Obs. exc. in phr. after one"s very own heart.

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So to be after one"s own heart means that someone is in compliance through one"s own intent, will certainly, or inclination. This, in present use, is the exact same as being "someone I have the right to agree with". To be in compliance via one"s very own will certainly means that someone is in agreement with one"s own will certainly.