probably from cockle entry 2, from a presumed resemblance of the closed shell to a heart
Compare Herzmuschel, the German name for the cockle, literally, "heart mussel"; and New Latin Cardium, the original genus name of the species (based on Greek kardía "heart").
1671, in the meaning defined above
cockles of the heart
“Cockles of the heart.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cockles%20of%20the%20heart. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.
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