Who’s Your Sweetheart?

Sweethearts in appalachia

The word sweetheart is used as a term of affection or love for another person.  According to the Online Etymology Dictionary the word has been around a long long time:

sweetheart (n.) late 13c. as a form of address, 1570s as a synonym for “loved one;” from sweet (adj.) + heart (n.).

The book Why You Say It written by Webb Garrison says that back in the days of the long bow, when much of medical science was a guessing game, doctors assumed the heart was the container for our personal traits. In other words, they believed the heart held who we are as a person.

Garrison goes on to say that line of thinking lead to phrases such as hard hearted, heavy hearted, and soft hearted. Before long folks started using sweet heart to describe one they cared deeply for. As time went on the space between the words disappeared and we were left with sweetheart. Who knew?

I don’t think the word sweethearts is used much by the youth in my area these days, but then again maybe I’m wrong and it is.

This is the week for sweethearts.


*Source: Why You Say It written by Webb Garrison; Online Etymology Dictionary.

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  • Reply
    September 6, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    What a lovely Sunday afternoon September 2020…..a beautiful somewhat cooler sunny morning to church then on to a meal with my husbands twin brother and wife ….traveling home I was enjoying listen to ”Never Grow Old” ….which I listened to again at home dragging out my guitar and playing and singing along…. so fun. Then I checked into Blind Pig ‘s Pinterest page to enjoy some of the older pins there…..the picture above caught my eye, so here I am, enjoying all things shared especially …. a very sweetheart picture ♡ Oh, and especially loved the thought of a wonderful snow…from way over here in September… so glad I get to experience all 4 seasons.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 9, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    A man knows he’s getting old when the young ladies at the register call you sweetie or sweetheart.
    I wonder the context of the picture. Pretty Miss Bonnie has her jaw set and her face exudes grim determination. She has her arm around her sweetheart’s neck in more of a headlock than a lovers embrace and her left hand is made into a fist. He seems to be looking into the camera while she appears to be looking at something or someone beyond it.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    February 9, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Reminds me of a song.
    Let me call you Sweetheart
    I’m in love with you.
    Let me hear you whisper that you love me too.
    Keep the lovelight glowing in your eyes so true
    Let me call you Sweetheart
    I’m in love with you!
    I am dreaming, dear, of you
    Day by day
    Dreaming when the skies are blue,
    When they’re gray;
    When the silv’ry moonlight gleams,
    Still I wander on in dreams
    In a land of love, it seems
    Just with you….
    Let me call you Sweetheart
    I’m in love with you.
    Let me hear you whisper that you love me too.
    Keep the lovelight glowing in your eyes so true
    Let me call you Sweetheart
    I’m in love with you!
    My sweetheart is a bonny lass from SC.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    February 9, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    I heard the “best” harmony on the radio awhile ago. About 10 minutes before her program ended today, Donna Lynn played “River of Jordan” by those beautiful Pressley Girls. Happy Valentine’s Day Chitter and Chatter…Ken

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    February 9, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    This is perfect snow for making Snowcream. At Topton, I got 4″ and it was so easy to sweep off my porch and car this morning. When I got to the shop, there’s just a skiff in places, but it’s still snowing. Gonna have Snowcream tonight!!!
    Valentine’s Day use to be a Special time for me, but that was a long time ago. Nowadays it’s just another day. My grandgirls and daughters still make it Special tho. Little Whisky couldn’t wait for me to open my Jeep door. He’s short-legged and his belly just drags through the snow…Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 9, 2016 at 11:54 am

    “Will You Remember”…or commonly called ‘The Sweetheart Song”…
    sung by Jeanette MacDonald in the movie ” Maytime”
    Sweetheart, Sweetheart, Sweetheart,
    Will you love me ever?
    Will you remember this day,
    when we were happy in May, my dearest one…
    Sweetheart, Sweetheart, Sweetheart….etc.
    Of course no one can (or at least Little Rascal fans) Alfalfa singing and bubbles coming out of his mouth in front of the class while prankster “Spanky” and sweetheart Darla look on…ha
    Let me call you Sweetheart, (bubble, bubble, bubble)
    I’m in love with you,
    Let me hear you whisper
    that you love me too….(many gulps and bubbles in-between the lyrics, ha)
    Love me some SWEETHEART SONGS.
    Maybe the gang can do a special one for this week!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…I do have one “SPECIAL ONE” that has been around for 50 years soon to be 51 years this Spring…Bless his little heart!
    Just you wait till he sees this, I’ll never hear the end of it….ha You know what a lot of folks say about the term of endearment…”Bless his little heart” ! ha

  • Reply
    February 9, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Miss Cindy, what a lovely picture. I love that your mother’s beau has his jacket around her on what must have been a chilly day.
    I call my hubby “sweetie” most of the time, or “sweets.” It’s easier to shorten “sweetheart ” and I use my substitutions all the time.
    This weekend is special to us. We were engaged on Friday the 13th, 40 years ago. It certainly is our lucky day!! Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone.

  • Reply
    Lisa Snuggs
    February 9, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Sincerity, or lack thereof, is never more pronounced than when somebody calls you “Sweetheart.”

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    February 9, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Eva Nell’s SWEETHEART’s confusion is understandable. Etymology and entomology are similar sounding, and both words are seldom used in daily speech.
    I’m glad to note that men in our society have mostly abandoned using “sweetheart” as a condescending sexism in addressing women. Think of all those old Humphrey Bogart films, wherein the renowned actor usually pronounced it “schweetheart.”

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    February 9, 2016 at 9:59 am

    I call my oldest grandson (he is 19) my sweetheart and have for years.

  • Reply
    February 9, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Mom and Dad called young courting couples sweethearts. The saying just might have left our vocabulary longer ago than we think, as I don’t recall hearing it from anyone in my age group expect to refer to someone who is kindhearted. I’ve got to wonder if sweetheart has taken on a new meaning. Now I think the kids simply say girlfriend/boyfriend.

  • Reply
    eva nell mull wike, PhD
    February 9, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Well Tipper, while I was reading your post to MY SWEETHEART, he interrupted me to explain the meaning of etymology and a similar word which means the study of bugs! Oh well???
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    February 9, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Being the sentimental person I am, I love to call those I love “sweetheart.” Although it possibly should be reserved for THE ONE of the opposite sex who is indeed your sweetheart, I found myself calling my children, my nieces and nephews, even my young students in my classroom, “Sweetheart.” They all seemed to like the term of endearment. But the time I heard it frequently from the one to whom I was married for 61 years was the real message-bearer to my heart. I was indeed his “Sweetheart,” and he treated me as one! I am so grateful. Happy Valentine’s Day, all of you!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 9, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Ah, you struck a nerve with me. There is a part of us beyond the physical that it seems no-one knows where it ‘stays’. All of us, I think, have a sense of this without being able to explain it. It is not for nothing that the Bible says, “Keep the heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.”
    Your post also makes me think of the term ‘kindred spirits’ so loved by Lucy Maud Montgomery in the Anne of Green Gables books. And of Johnathan about whom it was said “his soul was knit with” David’s.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 9, 2016 at 7:29 am

    You got your snow, Tip! It’s not very big but it is a ground covering snow and it’s not over yet!
    That’s my mother in the picture. Bonnie was her name and bonnie she was.

  • Reply
    Garry Ballard
    February 9, 2016 at 6:45 am

    I still call my daughters, daughters-in-law and granddaughters sweetheart!

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