go cold turkey

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go cold turkey

To stop doing or using something abruptly and completely. Most commonly said of drug, alcohol, or tobacco use, it can also refer to any bad habit. I tried quitting smoking for several years, using nicotine patches, gums, and even hypnotherapy. Eventually, I just had to go cold turkey and rely on my own willpower. I was eating way too much junk food and was gaining a lot of weight as a result. Finally, I just went cold turkey and stopped buying anything but healthy food.
See also: cold, turkey

go cold turkey

Inf. to stop (doing something) without tapering off. (Originally drug slang. Now concerned with breaking any habit.) I had to stop smoking, so I went cold turkey. It's awful! When heroin addicts go cold turkey, they get terribly sick.
See also: cold, turkey

go cold turkey

INFORMAL
1. If someone goes cold turkey, they suddenly stop taking drugs that they depend on. You can't just go cold turkey, because that's not how you successfully deal with addiction. Note: People use cold turkey to describe the experience of doing this. His book describes the 30-day cold turkey of a heroin addict.
2. If someone goes cold turkey, they suddenly stop having or doing something that they are used to. Unless you go cold turkey and leave your mobile phone at home, you will have no peace during your vacation. Note: People use cold turkey to describe the experience of doing this. Compulsive shopping is just like any other addiction and the recession means cold turkey for Judith Summers.
See also: cold, turkey

go cold turkey

suddenly and completely stop taking drugs.
The image is of one of the possible unpleasant side effects of this, involving bouts of shivering and sweating that cause goose flesh or goose pimples, a bumpy condition of the skin which resembles the flesh of a dead plucked turkey.
See also: cold, turkey
References in classic literature ?
March, with placid satisfaction, from the hearthrug, after the last guest had gone.
A long stride measured the schoolroom, and presently beside Miss Temple, who herself had risen, stood the same black column which had frowned on me so ominously from the hearthrug of Gateshead.
One day I sat down and watched Bacchus seated on the hearthrug, with his moony eyes looking into space so thoughtfully and patiently that I apologized for comparing you to him.
Durie posted on the hearthrug in the guise of Hymen's priest.
He took one of the small octagonal tables that were scattered about the room, and set it in front of the fire, with two legs on the hearthrug.
Why, this morning before breakfast was half over, he stood up on the hearthrug, put his hands in his pockets, and appealed to the country at the top of his voice.
He sat bowed over, his head between his hands, staring at the hearthrug, and at the tip of the satin shoe that showed under her dress.
So I stood between her and the hearth, on which lay the captain's corpse, with the hearthrug turned up on either side to cover it.
She places the stray chair near the hearthrug between Higgins and Pickering, and stands behind it waiting for the girl to sit down].
It's astonishing what a distance they roll," said Ralph, stooping to turn up the corner of the hearthrug.
I know not whether it was owing to her loitering on the way one month to an extent flesh and blood could not bear, or because we had exhausted the penny library, but on a day I conceived a glorious idea, or it was put into my head by my mother, then desirous of making progress with her new clouty hearthrug.
Sir Edward Bransome made his way to his study, opened the door with a Yale key, turned on the electric lights, and crossed slowly to the hearthrug.
Wingrave was standing upon the hearthrug, cold, passionless, Sphinx-like.
Anne was curled up Turk-fashion on the hearthrug, gazing into that joyous glow where the sunshine of a hundred summers was being distilled from the maple cordwood.
Fyne on the hearthrug had to listen and to look on too.