Learning idioms can help you become more confident in English. Idioms can make your communication more natural, and, more interesting. This post will give you 24 common English Idioms with cold.
- A Cold Shower
- Cold As Ice
- Cold Call
- Cold Case
- Cold Comfort
- Cold Feet
- Cold Hard Cash
- Cold Shoulder
- Cold Storage
- Cold Sweat
- Cold War
- Go Cold Turkey
- It’ll Be A Cold Day In Hell
- Make Your Blood Run Cold
- Out Cold
- Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold
- Stone Cold
I want to make this the best resource I could to help people just like you who want to use these Idioms. You will find a video for listening practice and review, PLUS a PDF Idiom list download that you can view anytime. The PDF contains the live links from the post and you can print it out for review anywhere, anytime.
Cold Adjective – Different Uses
The word cold is an adjective that is most commonly used to mean low temperature.
- My hands are cold.
- It’s going to be cold tomorrow.
The adjective cold has a few other uses.
It’s used to describe food or drink that has not been heated OR is now cooled after being cooked at one point.
- There are some cold meats in the fridge if you want to make a sandwich.
- I love a cold drink on a hot day.
Cold can also be used with the noun truth to mean – facts with nothing added to make them more interesting or pleasant
- I can’t afford my current apartment any longer. It’s sad but that’s the cold hard truth. (Cold hard truth is a common expression used to describe an unpleasant fact.)
The adjective cold can also refer to someone being not friendly or unconscious. You will find these meanings represented clearly in the idioms listed below.
Old English cald, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch koud and German kalt, also to Latin gelu ‘frost’.SOURCE
Idioms with COLD
A Cold Shower
An expression used when someone needs to calm down when something has made them feel sexually excited SOURCE
- I thought about calling my ex-girlfriend for a quick rendezvous, but I realized that was a bad idea. Instead, I took a cold shower and went to bed.
Cold As Ice
1) Extremely cold.
- “I just finished shoveling the snow off my driveway and now my hands are as cold as ice.”
2) Distant and unfeeling. Showing no emotion
- “I think Janice is mad at me. I said hello this morning when I came to work but she was cold as ice. She didn’t even look at me.”
This is a popular song from 1977. The song is about a girl who has no feelings.
Music + lyrics – You can read as you listen.
Trying to get business from potential customers (sell them something) who have had no prior contact with the salesperson making the call.
- “Successful cold calling requires strong communication and persuasion skills.”
An unsolved crime or investigation that is no longer being actively pursued.
- “The police department reopened the cold case after new evidence surfaced.”
Cold Case was the name of a popular TV series about – “The Philadelphia homicide squad’s lone female detective finds her calling when she’s assigned ‘cold cases,’ older crimes that have never been solved.” The show was on TV for 7 seasons. IMDb link
Something that is not very comforting or helpful.
- “The apology was cold comfort for the damage they had done.”
To become nervous or uncertain about something, such as a decision or commitment.
- “He got cold feet before his wedding and almost left the city. Luckily his best friend convinced him that everything will be okay. He told him that it’s normal to get cold feet before getting married.”
Cold hard cash
Physical bills or coins that you can hold in your hands. Nothing digital.
- “The store won’t accept pay apps or even credit cards. Only cold hard cash.”
You can learn 110 Idioms and expressions with money at my blog post here >> https://worldenglishblog.com/idioms-about-money
To ignore or reject someone.
- “After their argument about her mother visiting for 3 weeks, Melanie has been giving Randy the cold shoulder. She won’t even look at him.”
If something, usually food, is kept in cold storage, it is put in artificially cold conditions, usually to stop it from decaying. SOURCE
- Most large commercial fishing boats have cold storage on the ship to keep the fish fresh until they come back to land.
Perspiration (sweat) that feels chilly to the person who is sweating. This can be a sign of illness, shock, or the experiencing of an intense emotion such as despair, anxiety, or, especially, fear. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cold_sweat
- Kelly woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, feeling like she was being watched.
A state of political tension and military rivalry between nations, typically without actual fighting.
- “The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union lasted from the end of World War II until the early 1990s.”
Lacking emotion. This Idiom’s meaning is similar to Cold as Ice.
- The soldier was a cold-blooded killing machine who followed any order from his commanding officer.
*This is also used to describe creatures such as snakes, lizards, and fish that don’t warm their bodies internally.
Refers to a person who is unfeeling, unemotional, or lacking in compassion or kindness.
- “Despite his tough exterior, deep down he was a warm-hearted person, not cold-hearted as everyone thought.”
This is a verb that means – To knock unconscious. SOURCE
- “Ian got coldcocked during a drunken bar fight.”
Go Cold Turkey
To give up (quit) a habit abruptly (suddenly) without stopping slowly, without reducing little by little.
- “Eric decided to become a vegetarian. He just stopped eating meat cold turkey.”
You can do a deep dive into this expression with podcast audio at my blog post here >> https://worldenglishblog.com/english-idiom-go-cold-turkey/
It’ll Be A Cold Day In Hell
This is used to indicate that something is extremely unlikely to happen. Often used to express anger or disappointment with something.
- “That restaurant was terrible. It’ll be a cold day in hell before I go back there.”
Make One’s Blood Run Cold
To cause fear or horror. When your blood runs cold you are often frozen in fear.
- Rob is terrified of heights, just the thought of skydiving makes his blood run cold.
This is used to describe a person who has lost consciousness or fallen asleep deeply.
- “The heavyweight contender was knocked out cold in the third round.” (Unconcious)
- “My son was so tired after playing all day that he was out cold soon as I put him to bed.” (Sleeping deeply)
Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold
This means that revenge is more satisfying when you get it after time has passed, rather than immediately. Especially after the object of your revenge has forgotten how they mistreated you and is taken by surprise.
- Malcolm knows that revenge may be sweet, but it’s a dish best served cold. He would take his time and plan his revenge perfectly.
This is used to describe someone who is unemotional, calm, or unfazed by events. This idiom is also used to describe someone’s face or expression.
- “Thomas had a reputation for being stone cold, never showing any signs of emotion, even in the most stressful situations.”
- “His face was stone cold as a judge read the verdict.”
Weather Expressions with COLD
This is a weather condition where colder air moves into an area where warmer air is present. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_front
- “A cold front is moving in this weekend, so wear warm clothes if you plan to spend time outside.”
Cold Wave/Cold Snap/Cold Spell
A rapid fall in temperature within a 24-hour period. This weather condition is announced as a warning for people, animals, and plants that will be exposed to the sudden drop in temperature. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_wave
The next 2 Cold Weather Idioms are a little bit rude. *Viewer discretion is advised.*
Cold Enough To Freeze The Balls Off A Brass Monkey / (As) Cold As A Witch’s Tit
- “The weather forecast said today will be -28°. That’s cold enough to freeze the balls off of a brass monkey.”
- “The weather forecast said today will be -28°. That’s as cold as a witch’s tit.”
The second idiom can be made more family-friendly like this.
- “Make sure to dress warm today, I heard that it will be as cold as a witch’s kiss.”
Cold Idiom List PDF
Download the Cold Idiom List as a printable PDF. Great for teachers to use with private or group classes. PDF contains the live links from the post.
Find many more helpful Idiom blog posts below.
- 22 Dead/Zombie Idioms (Examples, free PDF, Real Photos!)
- 10 Idioms with PIG (Learn FAST with pictures and examples)
- 16 Common Monkey Idioms (REAL Examples and Video)
- Idioms with the word Sweet (Real Examples + Video)
- Beat the Heat meaning (Plus more Heat Idioms just for you)
- Make Yourself at Home: 27 Common House Idioms (Free PDF)
- Feline Phrases: Understanding Cat Idioms (Free PDF Download)