Welcome to another English Grammar Lesson!
Since we just had our first major snowfall here in Boston, it’s a great time to look at how to use idioms with the word “cold” or “snow” and start sounding like a native speaker.
Idioms are expressions that can’t be understood from the meanings of each separate word alone, but they have a meaning using all the words together. Look at how they are used below:
TO GIVE SOMEONE THE COLD SHOULDER
to intentionally ignore someone or treat someone in an unfriendly way
Steven gave me the cold shoulder after I didn’t invite him to my Halloween party last year, but now we are on much friendlier terms.
TO HAVE/GET COLD FEET
when you suddenly don’t feel brave enough for something
Adam was going to ask his boss for a raise, but at the last minute he got cold feet and didn’t do it.
TO GO/QUIT COLD TURKEY
to suddenly and completely stop doing something, especially a bad habit
I really want to stop smoking so next week I am going to quit cold turkey. Just decreasing the amount of cigarettes I smoke doesn’t work. I need to stop smoking completely!
TO BE SNOWED UNDER (WITH SOMETHING)
to have more things to do than you can deal with
I couldn’t go to the movie with my friends because I am snowed under with schoolwork. I have an exam to study for and two papers to write by Friday.
TO BE SNOWED IN
to be unable to leave a place because of too much snow
We were snowed in because of the big storm, but at least we had electricity and enough food. There must have been at least three feet of snow outside our house!
Now that you understand what these expressions mean, conversations or dialogs won’t be so confusing. But be careful, one change of a word can change the whole meaning of an expression!