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Get Cold Feet Idiom Meaning, Synonyms, Examples

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get cold feet idiom meaning

You must have often heard people use the “get cold feet” idiom, meaning to lose courage. The phrase implies losing nerve or having second thoughts about something. It is often used to describe people who are anxious about getting married, but it can also apply to other situations. For example, “He got cold feet and cancelled his trip to the mountains”. 

This metaphor originated in the 1800s, used by Presbyterian missionaries to describe poor people. It was also used to refer to gamblers who lost all their money and withdrew from an ongoing game, or “got cold feet”. But the first example of getting cold feet as an excuse to back out of a situation was found in an 1884 student publication. It had a story of a woman who refused to marry her betrothed at the last minute without giving a reason.

Usage With Examples 

Here’s how to use the “get cold feet” idiom correctly in a sentence:

  1. He was supposed to propose to her on Valentine’s Day, but he got cold feet and changed his mind.
  2. She had always dreamed of becoming a singer, but she got cold feet when she saw the huge crowd at the audition.
  3. They were ready to buy the house, but they got cold feet when they saw the contract and the hidden fees.
  4. He had trained hard for the marathon, but he got cold feet on the day of the race and decided not to run.
  5. She had agreed to go on a blind date with him, but she got cold feet at the last minute and cancelled.

Also Read: 500+ Most Commonly Used Idioms in English

Synonyms and Similar Phrases

Some words and phrases that have the same meaning as the idiom “get cold feet” are:

  1. Lose one’s nerve
  2. Have second thoughts
  3. Back out
  4. Chicken out
  5. Bail out
  6. Wimp out
  7. Funk out
  8. Turn yellow

Also Read: Walking On Air Meaning, Synonyms, Examples

Get Cold Feet Idiom Meaning Quiz

Fill in the blank with the correct form of the idiom “get cold feet”:

She was going to skydive with her friends, but she _________ at the last minute.

A) got cold feet 

B) got bumble foot 

C) get bumble feet 

D) get cold

The correct answer is A) got cold feet. 

We hope this blog helped you understand the “get cold feet” idiom meaning, how to use it in sentences, and the words and phrases related to it. To explore more idioms like this, stay tuned to Leverage Edu.

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