cold fish

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

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

*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

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

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

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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
He lost the plaice after claiming he was served freezing cold fish and chips in a Chinese takeaway.
The inventor of plastic eyeglass lenses, Graham was intelligent and inventive, but emotionally a cold fish who neglected his own eight children and kept a list of "Great Men" he had met in his life: Unlike other sperm bankers, Graham didn't pay donors; rather, he wined, dined, flattered, wheedled, and cajoled them into wanting to pass on their gifts.
Reagan a cold fish, but it was impossible to watch her during that week and not admire her courage or feel for her desperate loss.
The android was always a cold fish, poor xxxxx, Till the day someone bumped his mood xxxxx to "xxxxx.
Beautifully displayed on a granite-topped bar in the ultramodern Hotel SIDE's glass-walled breakfast room was a selection of cold fish that would tempt the palate of any feline: thin slices of smoked salmon and halibut; chunks of smoked eel; filets of poached fresh turbot; bowls of boiled shrimp seasoned with chopped chives; shimmering servings of peppered mackerel; and plenty of horseradish-seasoned whipped cream, a truly north German garnish.
Those cold fish eyes seemed to bore right through you, even when he was being charming.
He is a cold fish so in a sense what he said has some significance.
Cold Fish, a premiere, enraptured the audience with a sea of visual imagery.
When really cold fish did go deep with lures doing the job then.
COLD FISH NICK CLEGG Grinning LibDem angles for another coalition as he grasps a slimy partner on an early morning visit to Newlyn in Cornwall.
17 million will spent on setting up of boat repairing workshops along the coastal belt of the province and Rs, 25 million for introducing Semi Cold Fish Hatchery at Subakzai dam in Zhob district.
In not much more time than it takes to open a can, you can fork-mix any cold fish with a special tartar sauce and build salad-type sandwiches that outshine any you could make with canned tuna.
Having been left out in the cold, I decided to do the only logical cold thing - and eat cold fish.
You know, I shouldn't really say this," she confided, "but he can be a bit of a cold fish.
The monitors will record each wild penguin's heart rate, location, water depth and throat temperature, telling scientists when they have swallowed a cold fish.