What Does Heart of Gold Mean?

Heart of Gold Meaning

Definition: A kind and giving personality.

Origin of Heart of Gold

People often use this expression to emphasize what a good person someone is. It is a strong compliment with a very positive connotation. It comes from the idea of gold being a precious metal that is highly valued. The use of this idiom dates back at least to the 1500s.

The expression was already in use during Shakespeare’s time, when he included it in his play Henry V.

It appears in a scene in which the king has disguised himself as a commoner. He asks a man named Pistol if he thinks that he (Pistol) is a better man than the king. Pistol replies that the king has a heart of gold.

  • The king’s bawcock, a heart of gold.

A bawcock is jargon of the era that mean a fine fellow.

Examples of Heart of Gold

heart of gold definition

In this dialogue, two employees are discussing the manager’s secretary.

Deanna: This email tells us that we have to attend a meeting, but it doesn’t tell us when or where this meeting is.

Emily: I guess you should just email the boss’s secretary to find out the details.

Deanna: I would, but she scares me a little. She seems really grumpy all the time.

Emily: She comes across as being cold, but when you get to know her a little better, you find that she has a heart of gold. She’s actually very kind and helpful.

what is a heart of goldIn this dialogue, two friends are discussing their family members.

Patrick: How was your Thanksgiving dinner with your family?

Killian: It was all right. I don’t have a lot in common with my family anymore.

Patrick: What do you mean?

Killian: Their values are so different than mine.

Patrick: I know what you mean. All of my relatives are rude and harsh except for my grandmother. She’s the best. She has a heart of gold.

More Examples

This excerpt is about a respected athlete and actor wearing an accessory that people often mock.

  • It started as a joke. In July of 2014, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the actor, former pro wrestler and hulk with a heart of gold, posted a self-mocking throwback photo on Instagram. –Wall Street Journal

This excerpt is from an article about a woman who died in a car accident.

  • “This is a parents’ worst nightmare,” said neighbor Harriet Hoffman, 52, who has known Grewel and her family for years. “She was a gal with a heart of gold and she will be sorely missed.” –New York Post


A person who has a heart of gold is a person with a pure and loving nature.