• “Bleeding Heart” Meaning: an extremely softhearted person who feels compassion or pity towards all people, including those who may not deserve sympathy. Origin: This phrase became popular in 20th century America. Some people felt that government and private charities should do more to help relieve the suffering of the sick, homeless and unemployed. Others didn’t agree and began calling these well meaning citizens “bleeding hearts.” The term first appears in the Old English Dictionary in 1958. However,it is said by some writers to have been popularized (see Eleanor Roosevelt) in the 1930's with reference to liberals (ref. newspaper columnist Westbrook Pegler 1894-1969). Alternate origins of "Bleeding" in the figurative sense of "genorous" (which are religious rather than stictly "political") are: a) the “Knights of Bleeding Heart” (a semi-religious order instituted in the Middle Ages in honor of the Virgin Mary, whose “heart was pierced with many sorrows”) b) the "bleeding heart of Jesus"

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