“Bless your heart” has always been about the tone; yes, it has a reputation. With the use of the words “bless” and “heart” in the phrase, it indeed sounds sweet. But how did it become a phrase meaning something different than what it says?
Recently, one of the snippets with the phrase “Bless your heart” caught the attention of many online followers. The reason being it explained this southerners’ term beautifully. Indeed, the phrase sounds sweet yet spicy. It’s more complicated than you can think.
Southerners are slightly different from others. The way we think depends on the way we live. We have a slow-paced life, and caring about others, sitting on porches, or even telling tales gives us a sense of community.
Thus, we have the phrase “bless your heart,” meaning “I feel for you.” However, like other things, the term also evolved. It got modified into something anyone could add to a sentence to portray a different meaning altogether.
Let’s take some examples from this snippet. The two cute senior women talked about the man who bumped into a store entrance. Although they meant he was foolish, they said, “Bless your heart.”
While in another incident, a woman spoke on the phone about her would-be-husband & stated, “Once we get married, he won’t be watching as much football.” Here the senior ladies could be heard saying the phrase once again. But they actually meant to say the young girl was naïve.
To be honest, the intended meaning of the phrase “bless your heart” has to do a lot with the tone with which it is said. And yes, it takes skills to use it correctly. Unfortunately, this phrase has become historically southern, and we have accepted it as something that an outsider would consider one of the many southern quirks.