Top Language: To Get Cold Feet

Top Language

To get cold feet’ means to suddenly become frightened to do something that’s been planned. Instinctively, I bet the etymology comes from the reaction one gets when entering the sea when the water is cold. One hesitate before going in, right?

Here are a few examples in context:

  • They are getting married next Saturday as long as Tracy doesn’t get cold feet.
  • I quit work to travel for a year. I starting to get cold feet. Was it the right decision?
  • Silvia always gets cold feet before a speech.

A similar expression is ‘to chicken out‘.  This is actually a false friend for many language learners. Italians, for instance,  associate a rabbit to being frightened and not a chicken.

Fluency Builder:

My feet

My feet (Photo credit: Matthew T Rader)

    1. Do you think it’s normal to get cold feet before your wedding?
    2. Do you get cold feet before a presentation?


Check outthe photographer’s website…


2 thoughts on “Top Language: To Get Cold Feet

  1. Hello,

    I noticed that you used a photo of mine on this web page. And I saw you put my number it as well.

    The photo of the feet in the water, those are my feet actually.

    I don’t mind at all and I’m glad you found it useful to use on your website. Can you please credit me as the photographer of the photo beneath it or some where on the page like this:

    By Dallas Photographer, Matthew T Rader

    Thank you

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