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a scalded dog dreads cold water
proverb obsolete Someone who has experienced some kind of negative situation or consequence will try to avoid repeating the experience in the future. A: "It's heartbreaking how Eloise still refuses to go anywhere near the stable since her accident." B: "Well, you know a scalded dog dreads cold water." Joseph refuses to invest any money after losing his retirement fund during the stock market crash—a scalded dog dreads cold water. I know that a scalded dog dreads cold water, but you'll never find love if you don't put yourself out there and risk getting your heart broken again.
like a scalded cat
Extremely quickly, perhaps as if having been startled. He screamed and darted out the door like a scalded cat when I snuck up behind him and gave him a fright. This car's engine is so powerful that takes off like a scalded cat.
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like a scalded catBRITISH
If a person or animal moves like a scalded cat, they move very fast, as though they have been suddenly frightened. Sure enough, within minutes of the train pulling out, Brown was out of that seat like a scalded cat. The Derby winner of that year set off like a scalded cat, and was never caught.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
like a scalded catat a very fast speed.
1997 T3 If you're in a desperate hurry you can bury the accelerator…and take off like a scalded cat.
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