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[Report] 2008-03-16

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Now the VOA Special English Program---Words and Their Stories.

 

Cold weather has a great effect on how our minds and our bodies work.  Maybe that is why there are so many expressions that used the word cold.  For centuries the body's blood has been linked closely with the emotions.  People who show no human emotions or feeling, for example, are said to be cold--blooded.  Cold-blooded people act in cruel ways.  They may do brutal things to others and not by accident.  For example a newspaper says the police are searching for a cold-blooded killer.  The killer murdered someone not in self-defense or because he was reacting to anger or fear.  He seemed to kill for no reason and with no emotion as if  taking someone's life meant nothing. 

 

 

Cold can affect other parts of the body.  The feet, for example, heavy socks can warm your feet if your feet are really cold.  But there is an expression to get cold feet that has nothing to do with cold or your feet.  The expression means being afraid to do something you have decided to do.  For example,  you agreed to be president of an organization.  But then you learn that all the other officers have resigned.  All the work of the organization will be your responsibility.  You are likely to get cold feet about being president when you understand the situation. 

 

 

Cold can also affect your shoulder.  You give someone the cold shoulder when you refused to speak to them.  You treat them in a distant cold way.  The expression probably comes from a physical act of turning your back towards someone instead of speaking to him face-to-face.  You may give a cold shoulder to a friend who has not kept promise he made to you or to someone who has lied about you to others.

 

 

A cold fish is not a fish.  It is a person but it is a person who is unfriendly, unemotional and shows no love or warmth.  A cold fish doesn't offer much of himself to anyone.  Someone who is a cold fish could be coldhearted.  Now a coldhearted person is someone who has no sympathy.  Several popular songs in recent years were about coldhearted men or coldhearted women who without feeling brokehearts of their lovers. 

 

 

Out in the cold is an expression often heard.  It means not getting something that everybody else got.  A person might say that everybody but him got a pay raise that he was left out in the cold.  It is not a present place to be.

 

 

This VOA Special English Program---Words and Their Stories was written by Maryland Christiano.  Moris Joyce was narrator.  I'm Shierlly Grifith.

 

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