cold fish

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cold fish

Someone who shows no emotion and comes across as unfriendly or disinterested. The manager decided not to hire Bill as the store greeter because he came across like a cold fish during the interview.
See also: cold, fish
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*cold fish

Fig. a person who is distant and unfeeling. (*Typically: act like ~; be ~.) Bob is so dull—a real cold fish. She hardly ever speaks to anyone. She's a cold fish.
See also: cold, fish
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cold fish

A hard-hearted, unfeeling individual, one who shows no emotion, as in Not even the eulogy moved him; he's a real cold fish. This expression was used by Shakespeare in The Winter's Tale (4:4): "It was thought she was a woman, and was turn'd into a cold fish." However, it came into wider use only in the first half of the 1900s.
See also: cold, fish
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a cold fish

If you call someone a cold fish, you mean that they do not show their emotions and can seem unfriendly or unsympathetic. Since the President is generally seen as a cold fish, it is all the more impressive when he does show his feelings. He didn't really show much emotion — he's a bit of a cold fish.
See also: cold, fish
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a ˌcold ˈfish

(disapproving) a person who shows little or no emotion, or is unfriendly, reserved, etc: When I first met him, he seemed rather a cold fish, but actually he’s quite passionate.
See also: cold, fish
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

cold fish

n. a dull and unresponsive person. I hate to shake hands with a cold fish like that. He didn’t even smile.
See also: cold, fish
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

cold fish, a

A person who is unfeeling, or at least shows no emotion. “Cooler than a fish on a cake of ice,” P. G. Wodehouse put it (Money in the Bank, 1942). He was scarcely the first. Shakespeare wrote, “It was thought she was a woman and was turned into a cold fish” (Autolycus telling of a ballad against the hard hearts of maids, The Winter’s Tale, 4.4). See also cold heart.
See also: cold
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
For those who have never seen me, the clues lay in references to the sagging buttocks and the cold fish. "Cold fish" is the admonishment used by my wife and our 12-year-old son whenever I have the temerity to thwart one of their costly ambitions.
WE tend to think of Ian Beale as an annoying cold fish, but we can't help feeling for him during this emotional week.
I have become something of a cold fish on the domestic front.
This is no cold fish who will sit and squirm as his players do battle.
David Caruso as Horatio is a bit of a cold fish and the ginger sleuth never seems to enjoy a good old belly laugh, but the worldwide appeal of CSI: Miami is probably the shots of Miami itself.
However, after Frank has blasted his umpteenth nameless henchman in the memory of his murderer loved ones, it's hard to muster any sympathy, especially when Jane plays him as such a cold fish.
Distribs won't exactly school around this cold fish, although some fests may nibble.
I'd sooner trust politicians who drink than the cold fish who don't.
Introducing Cold Fish, the singer told us: "This song has a sea and sea creature theme, so I want you to imagine you're underwater." It certainly conjured a pleasantly murky vibe, with warm, lush harmonies that washed over its swirling arrangements.
OVERFLOWING: Wheelie bins waiting for collection on Childwall Park Avenue COLD FISH: Thousands of pounds worth of carp have died in Walton Hall Park TIME OFF: Hollyoaks stars Carley Stenson, Ashley Taylor Dawson, John Pickard, Joel Goonan and Jessica Fox play in the snow on set CASUALTIES: Angler Dave Messulam with dead and dying fish at Walton Hall
Having been left out in the cold, I decided to do the only logical cold thing - and eat cold fish.
Her sight restored, Laura kindles a smoldering attraction to the medic and deliberates cheating on her cold fish husband, Fred (Cyril Raymond).
The main one is Edward Wilson, played as an emotionless cold fish by Matt Damon.