cold feet, get

get cold feet

To experience nervousness or anxiety before one attempts to do something, often to the extent that one tries to avoid it. I wasn't nervous until the morning of my wedding, but everyone assured me that I had just gotten cold feet. Good luck getting her out on stage—she always gets cold feet before a performance.
See also: cold, feet, get

cold feet, get

Also, have cold feet. Retreat from an undertaking; lose one's nerve. For example, I got cold feet when I learned the trip involves white-water rafting, or Don't count on including her-she's been known to have cold feet in the past. The origin of this term has been lost. In early 17th-century Italy it meant to be short of money, but that sense has never been used in English. [Late 1800s]
See also: cold, get