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wear the willow

To grieve. The willow tree is traditionally associated with sadness. My grandmother has been wearing the willow ever since my grandfather died. I wore the willow after my true love married another man.
See also: wear, willow

wear the green willow

1 grieve for the loss of a loved one. 2 suffer unrequited love. literary
A willow branch or leaves traditionally symbolized grief or unrequited love. In Othello , Desdemona sings the mournful ‘willow song’, about a maid forsaken by her lover, shortly before she is murdered.
See also: green, wear, willow