you'll catch your death of cold

you'll catch your death (of cold)

A warning issued (often hyperbolically) to one deemed vulnerable to becoming ill with the common cold. You'll catch your death of cold if you leave the house with wet hair—it's freezing outside! You'll catch your death in this weather if you don't put on a coat!
See also: catch, death

you'll catch your death of cold

You'll get sick if you do what you're about to do (often, go outside without being properly dressed). You can't go out without a coat at this time of year, you'll catch your death of cold!
See also: catch, cold, death, of
References in periodicals archive ?
One friend reflected that she and my father had "lived great lives", another more simply that "the world is less of a place", while a third recounted that when she visited my mother in the last fragile weeks of her life, Rene drifted out of sleep, opened her eyes and muttered: "You should be wearing a jumper, you'll catch your death of cold.
It maybe summer, but this is Yorkshire -and you'll catch your death of cold wandering about in that flimsy nightie.