catch a cold

catch a cold = catch cold

become infected with a cold

encounter trouble or difficulties, especially financial ones – informal

2001 - Financial Times - Most observers expect house prices to rise depending on whether the UK economy continues to grow smoothly or whether it catches a cold from the US.

Related Idioms :

as cold as charity

very cold

cold comfort

poor or inadequate consolation

This expression, together with the previous idiom, reflects a traditional view that charity is often given in a perfunctory or uncaring way. The words cold (as the opposite of encouraging) and comfort have been associated since the early 14th century, but perhaps the phrase is most memorably linked for modern readers with the title of Stella Gibbons's 1933 parody of sentimental novels of rural life, Cold Comfort Farm.

cold feet

loss of nerve or confidence

in the cold light of day

when you have had time to consider a situation objectively

the cold shoulder

a show of intentional unfriendliness


The verb cold-shoulder, meaning reject or be deliberately unfriendly, comes from this phrase.

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.

have someone cold

have someone at your mercy - US informal

1988 - Rodney Hall - Kisses of the Enemy - He waited in his office for news of violence, knowing that then he would have the troublemaker’s cold.

in cold blood

without feeling or mercy


According to medieval physiology blood was naturally hot and so this phrase refers to an unnatural state in which someone can carry out a (hot-blooded) deed of passion or violence without the normal heating of the blood.

leave someone cold

fail to interest or excite someone

left out in the cold



out cold

completely unconscious

pour cold water on = throw cold water on

be discouraging or negative about a plan or suggestion

1998 - New Scientist - When I put it to the health minister, that perhaps all clinical trial results should be published, she threw cold water on the idea.

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