Idiom: Cold Feet

Here we are near the end of June and most of the country is heating up, so maybe some COLD idioms will take your mind off the heat!

Joan was going to try out for the choir, but she got cold feet.

This idiom means: a loss of nerve or confidence; fear of doing something

The origins of this idiom are unclear.  Some believe it comes from having difficulty moving in water if your feet get cold or from soldiers who used cold feet as an excuse to leave the battle.


After he forgot her birthday, Emma gave him the cold shoulder.

this idiom means: to reject someone; ignore someone

In days long ago the knights were given a hot meal, but unwelcome guests at the castle only received cold mutton shoulder.

He stopped smoking cold turkey!

this idiom means: the sudden stopping of a habit

Cold turkey most likely comes from the idiom talk turkey, which was to speak in pleasant terms or to speaking plainly and directly about something. It’s time to talk turkey.

This became talk cold turkey, meaning to lay out hard facts and/or get immediately down to business.  Cold turkey is a shortening of talk cold turkey.   A person who abruptly quits a a habit isn’t just talking cold turkey; they are doing it.


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