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 her—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. In this usage, the phrase is typically hyphenated. I think I'm too old to be wearing a cold shoulder top like that!
See also: cold, shoulder
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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 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.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
PS16, QUIZ - ROYAL BLUE CHIFFON COLD SHOULDER BOW TOP: This cute top features a lightweight fabric for easy and comfortable wearing.
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We look at the demographics, and the city doesn't have that many wealthy people," said Ancken, who added that many foreign buyers were giving the city the cold shoulder because they believe the condo market here has peaked.
COLD SHOULDER: England players snub their troubled coach at training yesterday
Cold shoulder: Ming was stony-faced after being hit by a snowball' Helping hand: A Lib Dem supporter steps in to wipe off snow
By contrast, she says many British churches combine hot coffee with a cold shoulder.
"They've all given us the cold shoulder," Pfeiffer wrote of the festival board and chamber decisions.
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"I'm getting the cold shoulder from people at work," he says, explaining that because of the media surrounding his discharge, some of his coworkers think he used his sexual orientation to get out of deploying overseas--something he strongly denies.
All it takes is one man and a mid life crisis later to see wives dumped for younger, sexier models, and tonight's documentary will speak to the many women who've been given the cold shoulder by the blokes they thought loved them.
NASA, by contrast, has delayed issuing its guidelines for civilian visits to the space station, discourages the Russians from taking Shuttleworth, and, according to cosmonauts on the trip, gave Tito the cold shoulder during his pioneering flight.
Then Bush gave the cold shoulder to South Korean President Kim Dae Jung and his "Sunshine Policy." And memorably in last year's State of the Union address, Bush lumped North Korea into the "axis of evil."
So far the governors have received a cold shoulder. The plan Bush proposed in January doesn't include any balm for his former colleagues' wounds.