Idiom: To have a heart; used as a verb
Maria: Look at these adorable puppies my
friend posted on facebook. They’re looking for homes. Maybe we should adopt one?
Neil: We don’t need a dog.
Maria: Why not? They’re so adorable, and
they need homes. And I have been thinking a pet could be fun.
Neil: I don’t know.
Maria: Oh, have a heart. At least go look at them with me and think about it.
They need homes, and we have one.
Neil: OK, we can go see the puppies tomorrow, but I’m not promising anything.
Meaning: The expression “have
a heart” means to be compassionate, generous or forgiving. In the
example above, Maria tells Neil to “have
a heart” when he initially rejects her suggestion that they adopt a
puppy. This imperative usage (telling someone to do something) is one of the
most common ways to use this idiom. When a person rejects something that is compassionate, generous or forgiving, someone else might say “have a heart;” this suggests that
the person should reconsider.
In addition to the imperative usage
above, the idiom is also often used with the word “if,” as in the
still mad at Daniel for scratching your car, but he apologized and offered to
pay for it.
was really irresponsible of him.
Christine: If you had a heart, you would just forgive
Daniel and move on.
Meaning: In this case, saying “if you had a heart” is
almost a challenge, telling someone that they need to be more compassionate,
generous or forgiving (as in this specific example).