give someone the cold shoulder


Also found in: Dictionary.

give (one) the cold shoulder

To intentionally appear disinterested toward one; to snub. This phrase usually refers to the act of ignoring someone. It originated with the 19th-century practice of serving of a cold shoulder of meat to tiresome guests. She thinks you started that rumor about her—that's why she's been giving you the cold shoulder all day.
See also: cold, give, shoulder

give someone the cold shoulder

COMMON If someone gives you the cold shoulder, they deliberately stop being friendly to you and ignore you. Something's happened and I don't know what it is, but he's giving me the cold shoulder. He was upset to find his previously friendly colleagues giving him the cold shoulder. Note: You can also say that you get the cold shoulder from someone. Nancy found she was getting the cold shoulder from a lot of people she'd thought were her friends. Note: You can say that someone or something is cold-shouldered when people ignore or refuse to be interested in them. You can also talk about cold-shouldering. Since the President's election four years ago, he's been consistently cold-shouldered by the international community. The biggest stars stayed away from the festival in solidarity with their government's cold-shouldering of the country. Note: A shoulder is a cut of meat which includes the upper part of the animal's front leg. This expression refers to a medieval practice where important guests were given roast meat. Less important people were only given cold meat left over from previous meals.
See also: cold, give, shoulder, someone
Full browser ?