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November 2012 | Frankfurt

Brrrr…! telc English winter idioms

As winter draws in for many of us at this time of year, telc English explores the meaning behind some common seasonal idioms.

be cold comfort
Meaning: something that is supposed to make you feel better but doesn’t
‘The fact that we can play again next year is cold comfort – I’m still very disappointed that we lost the tournament.’

be left out in the cold
Meaning: be excluded from a group or activity
‘I wanted to go on the ski trip, but was left out in the cold – nobody didn’t invited me!’

be snowed under
Meaning: be very busy with too much to do
‘We’re completely snowed under at work at the moment – I don’t know how we’re going to finish everything we have to do in time.’

blow hot and cold
Meaning: keep changing your attitude or opinion
‘You’re blowing hot and cold – one minute you love the idea of moving to Spain, the next minute you’re totally against it!’

break the ice
Meaning: get something started, e.g. a conversation
‘I broke the ice at the party by asking the girl next to me where she had bought her shoes.’

cut no ice
Meaning: not convincing or having no influence
‘Lucy’s excuses cut no ice with her tutor – he knew she had forgotten to do her homework.’

get cold feet
Meaning: suddenly become too afraid to do something
‘The day before the wedding, the bride got cold feet and called the whole thing off.’

give someone the cold shoulder
Meaning: be unfriendly or ignore someone
‘Emma has been giving me the cold shoulder lately – I wish she’d talk to me!’

go cold turkey
Meaning: suddenly give up a habit completely
‘Jim’s going cold turkey when it comes to smoking – he hasn’t touched a single cigarette in week!’

put something on ice
Meaning: put off acting on something
‘They’re going to put the building plans on ice until the weather is warmer in the spring.’

Do you have any idioms relating to winter you could add to the list? Why not share them with other test takers on the telc English Facebook page? See you there!

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