- Apprehension or doubt strong enough to prevent a planned course of action.
- A loss or lack of courage or confidence; an onset of uncertainty or fear.
- To “have cold feet” is to be too fearful to undertake or complete an action.
- A wave of timidity or fearfulness.
- Loss or lack of courage or confidence.
- Timidity that prevents the continuation of a course of action.
Origin and History
The origin of the term itself has been largely attributed to American author Stephen Crane, who added the phrase, in 1896, to the second edition of his short novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. The term is present in "Seed Time and Harvest" by Fritz Reuter published in 1862. Kenneth McKenzie, a former professor of Italian at Princeton University attributed the first use of the phrase to the play Volpone produced by Ben Jonson in 1605. The true origin and first usage of the phrase remains debated and unconfirmed as exemplified above.
A common use of the phrase is when people fear the commitment of marriage and get "cold feet" before a wedding ceremony. This pre-marital doubt or fear may manifest for a variety of reasons and sometimes cause the bride or groom to back out of a planned marriage. Original research on the "cold feet" phenomenon is very limited and warrants further studies. However, a four year study conducted by UCLA researchers found feelings of pre-marital doubt or uncertainty about an impending marriage were associated with future marital problems and a viable predictor of divorce.
- "Cold feet - Definition". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
- "Cold feet". Dictionary.com. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
- "Cold feet definition". The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
- Spears, Richard. "cold feet". Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions. McGraw Hill. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
- "Cold feet". Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd.
- "Cold feet". Retrieved 22 December 2012.
- Barnhart, David K. (1997). America in So Many Words: Words That Have Shaped America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 191.
- Engber, Daniel. "When Did We Get "Cold Feet"? The Germans had 'em first!". Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- Zoulas, Peter. "Take Our Word For It, Issue 77". Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- Reuter, Fritz. "Seed-time and Harvest". Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- Tony Mathews (2003), There's More Than One Color in the Pew
- Hutson, Matthew. "Brides and Grooms: Cold Feet". Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- "Bride's "Cold feet" May Predict Divorce". Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- Lavner, Justin; Benjamin Karney, Thomas Bradbury (2012). "Do Cold Feet Warn of Trouble Ahead? Premarital Uncertainty and Four-Year Marital Outcomes". Journal of Family Psychology 26 (6): 1012–1017.
|Look up cold feet in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- "Expert Advice on Cold Feet" – Article from Brides Magazine
- "Cold Feet Common in Brides-to-Be" ABC News Good Morning America, May 1, 2005
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