Monday, October 10, 2011

WORDS AND THEIR STORIES:COLD

Cold weather has a great
effect on how our minds and
our bodies work. Maybe that
is why there are so many
expressions that use the word
cold.
For centuries, the body's
blood has been linked closely
with the emotions. People
who show no human
emotions or feelings, for
example, are said to be cold-
blooded . Cold-blooded
people act in cruel ways. They
may do brutal things to
others, and not by accident.
For example, a newspaper
says the police are searching
for a cold-blooded killer. The
killer murdered someone, not
in self-defense, or because he
was reacting to anger or fear.
He seemed to kill for no
reason, and with no emotion,
as if taking someone's life
meant nothing.
Cold can affect other parts of
the body. The feet, for
example. Heavy socks can
warm your feet, if your feet
are really cold. But there is an
expression -- to get cold feet
-- that has nothing to do with
cold or your feet.
The expression means being
afraid to do something you
had decided to do. For
example, you agree to be
president of an organization.
But then you learn that all the
other officers have resigned.
All the work of the
organization will be your
responsibility. You are likely
to get cold feet about being
president when you
understand the situation.
Cold can also affect your
shoulder.
You give someone the cold
shoulder when you refuse to
speak to them. You treat
them in a distant, cold way.
The expression probably
comes from the physical act
of turning your back toward
someone, instead of speaking
to him face-to-face. You may
give a cold shoulder to a
friend who has not kept a
promise he made to you. Or,
to someone who has lied
about you to others.
A cold fish is not a fish. It is a
person. But it is a person who
is unfriendly, unemotional and
shows no love or warmth. A
cold fish does not offer much
of himself to anyone.
Someone who is a cold fish
could be cold-hearted . A
cold-hearted person is
someone who has no
sympathy. Several popular
songs in recent years were
about cold-hearted men or
cold-hearted women who,
without feeling, broke the
hearts of their lovers.
Out in the cold is an
expression often heard. It
means not getting something
that everybody else got. A
person might say that
everybody but him got a pay
raise, that he was left out in
the cold. And it is not a
pleasant place to be.
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