What does the idiom "get cold feet" mean?

get cold feet is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression get cold feet is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "get cold feet"


The phrase 'get cold feet' is used to refer to someone who has a sudden change of heart or feels anxious and not confident about doing something they have previously agreed to do. It is usually used to describe someone who is about to undertake a major responsibility, such as getting married, taking a job, or entering a major competition.


The phrase 'get cold feet' first appeared in print in the late 1800s and is believed to have originated from the fact that cold feet can cause physical discomfort and be a sign of fear or anxiety. It is believed that the phrase evolved as an analogy for someone who was feeling scared or nervous about something.


The phrase 'get cold feet' is often used as a humorous way to describe an internal feeling of nerves or anxiety, rather than an obvious physical symptom. It is used to describe someone whose confidence is waning before they take a major responsibility. The phrase can also be used in a more serious context to imply that someone is not as committed to a situation or task as they previously anticipated.

Example Sentences

  • I was all set for the competition, but I got cold feet and had to back out.
  • He was about to get married, but he got cold feet and called it off.
  • The new manager was all set to take on the job, but he got cold feet in the last minute.

The meanings of the words in the "get cold feet" idiom

From One Language to Another: Idioms in Translation

Translating idioms from one language to another can be a tricky task, as the cultural context behind an idiom can be difficult to capture. For example, the French phrase "avoir le cafard" translates to "to have the cockroach," which means to feel down or depressed. Similarly, the Chinese idiom "????" (j?ng d? zh? w?) translates to "frog at the bottom of a well," which refers to someone with a narrow view of the world.


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