Open main menu

get cold feet

(Redirected from cold feet)




Possibly a calque of German kalte Füße bekommen (to get cold feet), or of Lombard avegh minga frecc i pee (to have no money, literally to be cold in the feet)[1] (Italian aver freddo ai piedi), said by a person who wishes to stop gambling, allegedly because the person now has cold feet due to being too poor to afford proper footwear.[2]



get cold feet (third-person singular simple present gets cold feet, present participle getting cold feet, simple past got cold feet, past participle got cold feet or (North American and regional UK) gotten cold feet)

  1. (intransitive, originally US, informal) To become nervous or anxious and reconsider a decision about an upcoming event.
    The groom got cold feet before his wedding.



  1. ^ cold feet” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019, retrieved 7 November 2018.
  2. ^ Daniel Engber (3 May 2005), “When Did We Get ‘Cold Feet’?: The Germans had ‘Em First!”, in Slate, archived from the original on 7 November 2018.

Further readingEdit