the cold shoulder

cold shoulder

1. noun A display or appearance of disinterest; a 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 you—that's why she's been giving you the cold shoulder all day.
2. adjective Describing a type of women's shirt that has sleeves but leaves the shoulders exposed. The phrase is typically hyphenated in this usage. I think I'm too old to be wearing a cold shoulder top like that!
See also: cold, shoulder

the cold shoulder

a show of intentional unfriendliness; rejection.
The verb cold-shoulder , meaning ‘reject or be deliberately unfriendly’, comes from this phrase.
See also: cold, shoulder