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“To have a soft spot for someone or something!”

Well, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and so not surprisingly this week’s idiom has a romantic feel to it – although it can refer to people or things!

You can see some teddy bears or soft toys on the photo, but do you have any idea what the soft spot or fontanelle is on a newborn baby’s head? In Italian I think the medical name is quite similar, “la fontanella.” It’s part of the skull at the front of the baby’s head which is not joined yet and is only covered by membrane. It’s much softer than usual and so is a delicate, vulnerable area on the baby’s head. The soft spot is something to look after because it is important! This helps us understand the meaning of the idiom…

To have a soft spot for someone means that person is important to you, you like them very much and feel emotionally vulnerable towards them. If you have a soft spot for someone, you might decide to send them a Valentine’s Day card to show how much you like them!

If you really like something particular, you can also say that you have a soft spot for it.

Take a look at these examples!

  • Teenage girls might say, “I really have a soft spot for this guy – should I tell him or send him a Valentine’s card?”
  • One of our teachers Shivani has a soft spot for chocolate!
  • “Do you know Maria who lives in the old part of Ostia Antica? She’s quite famous in the neighbourhood because she has a soft spot for cats – if anyone finds a stray (“un randagio”) they always take it to her because they know she’ll look after it.
  • I never liked ice-cream before I came to Italy, but now I have a soft spot for creamy flavours!
  • I was teaching a class a few years ago and all the women had a soft spot for George Clooney – but then he got married!

Who or what do you have a soft spot for?

Enjoy your week!

The English Tree team