cold shoulder

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Related to cold shoulder: silent treatment, frozen 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

*cold shoulder

Fig. an attitude of rejection. (*Typically: get ~; give someone ~.) If you greet her at a party, you'll just get the cold shoulder. I thought that Sally and I were friends, but lately I've been getting the cold shoulder.
See also: cold, shoulder


to ignore someone; to give someone a cool reception. (See also the cold shoulder.) The hostess cold-shouldered me, so I spilt my appetizers in the swimming pool. Tiffany cold-shouldered the guy who was trying to flirt with her.

cold shoulder

Deliberate coldness or disregard, a slight or snub. For example, When I said hello to her in the library, she gave me the cold shoulder and walked away . This term, which first appeared in writings by Sir Walter Scott and others, supposedly alludes to the custom of welcoming a desired guest with a meal of roasted meat, but serving only a cold shoulder of beef or lamb-a far inferior dish-to those who outstayed their welcome. [Early 1800s]
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

cold shoulder

Intended indifference. Although some sources contend that the phrase refers to serving unwanted or overstaying guests servings of the less preferable unheated leg of mutton, that's not where the expression came from. It first appeared in Sir Walter Scott's novel, The Antiquary, as a metaphor for disdain, the complete anthithesis of a warm hug.
See also: cold, shoulder
References in periodicals archive ?
The 18-year-old member of the Kardashian clan teams a cropped cold shoulder top with a pair of wide legged culottes.
In London, another embarrassing moment is that the Queen Elizabeth gave the cold shoulder to President Obama for breaking protocol offering a toast to the Queen while they were playing the National Anthem of the United Kingdom "God Save the Queen".
Singer Dannii Minogue, 41, gave the UK the cold shoulder, opting for the tropical waterfalls of Barbados instead.
Next up, Liverpool band Cold Shoulder headline on March 24.
She's mad at him for being so concerned about the disappearance of Stacey and his daughter Lily, but giving him such a cold shoulder is a bit harsh.
But his fiancee Katy Perry seemed to be getting the cold shoulder, despite her cute bunny ears and skimpy shorts.
If anything, Carter's admittedly more liberal proclivities and Wallace's cold shoulder made the author bend every effort to be thorough, fair, and honest in his portrayal of the foremost segregationist of the mid-20th century.
Many are in political lockstep with the CTA, while others are too afraid of getting the cold shoulder in the teachers lounge.
Her Madjesty's siblings, Christopher, Martin, Anthony, Paula, Mario, Melanie and Jennifer Ciccone have all been given the cold shoulder for their refusal to follow their famous sister's spiritual path.
While ethanol is cleaner and more efficient to produce than gas, the land and fertilizers used to grow the corn, the runoff from the fields, and the energy used to plant and harvest the crop have many environmentalists giving this alternative fuel the cold shoulder.
The giveaway forms part of the Northumbria Police Freeze Out campaign which aims to give the cold shoulder to any opportunist thief over the festive season.
He has played four games this season and is now getting the cold shoulder from his team-mates.
But Barnwell, who guided Wolves to the League Cup final 1980, has given the pounds 150,000 post the cold shoulder.
Rodarte may have won over support in his home country, but the expansion push is getting a cold shoulder from the United States, where environmental protection laws have blocked the sale of Cocomex hides.
Fast forward to the spring of 2001: Telecom had fallen out of favor, the capital markets turned a cold shoulder to further financing, and the entire industry contracted.