On the basis of a sample of 424 languages or dialects, this article provides a typological-comparative investigation of designations for three major internal organs of the torso, the ‘heart’, the ‘liver’, and the ‘lungs’. While colexification patterns are relatively unconstrained, the data show a skewing in morphologically complex terms: ‘heart’ and ‘liver’ often serve as head nouns in complex terms for ‘lungs’, but the reverse is rare. Another recurrent phenomenon is that two of the organs –sometimes ‘heart’ and ‘lungs’, but more frequently ‘liver’ and ‘lungs’– share their head noun, and are distinguished from one another by modifiers that refer to their most salient characteristics, as in Azerbaijani aɣ ǯiyær ‘white ǯiyær’ = ‘lungs’ and gara-ǯiyær ‘black-ǯiyær’ = ‘liver’. Having thus set the typological stage, I move on to discuss two different regions of the world in which such terms for ‘lungs’ and ‘liver’ have spread through language contact. This has happened in Eurasia, where the abovementioned pattern, which I call “explicitly dyadic”, was brought from Turkish to vernaculars of the Balkans and, most likely through Azerbaijani influence, to languages of the Southern Caucasus. Similar explicitly dyadic terms, but based on a head noun meaning ‘heart’, also occur in the Andes, where they appear to have spread from Quechuan to Barbacoan languages. The evidence not only shows that ‘liver’ and ‘lungs’ form a “semantic dyad” in which designations make use of “opposed characteristics” in different regions of the world, but also that such designations are salient and therefore prone to spread in language contact situations.