23 Winter Idioms | Snow & Cold Weather Phrases

Are you ready to get cosy and learn some English idioms and phrases related to winter, snow and cold weather which you can use to talk about this cold and frosty season? These idiomatic phrases will help your English sparkle like freshly fallen snow. In this blog post, we have included 23 winter-themed idioms with their meanings and example sentences so you can learn how to use them correctly.

23 Winter Idioms | Snow & Cold Weather Phrases

Winter idioms
Winter Idioms & Phrases

1) In the Cold Light of Day

when you have had time to think calmly about something; in the morning when things are clearer


  • The next morning, in the cold light of day, Dev realized what a complete idiot he had been.
  • He has to sit down in the cold light of day and analyse what needs to be done to prevent the club from being relegated.
  • I was so angry at the time that I could barely talk to him, but, in the cold light of day, I realize that he made some very valid points.

2) Dead of Winter

the coldest part of winter


  • I find myself dreaming of tropical islands every year in the dead of winter.
  • He decided to move to Alaska in the dead of winter, despite his friends’ warnings.
  • Maria went skiing in the dead of winter, enjoying the fresh snow and the clear sky.

3) The Cold Shoulder

cold and unfriendly treatment from a person known to one


  • But when Jake looked to Kevin for support, he was given the cold shoulder.
  • She got the cold shoulder from her former boss when she saw him at a restaurant.
  • When I talked to Isha about the project, she gave me the cold shoulder and walked away.

4) Cold Snap

a short period of very cold weather


  • The cold snap that we had last week was the most severe since the winter of 1992–93.
  • Make sure you have some hats and blankets in your car in case you break down. We are going to have a huge cold snap this week.

5) Cold Fish

​a person who seems unfriendly and without strong emotions


  • He didn't really show much emotion—he's a bit of a cold fish.
  • She's a lovely person, but her husband's a bit of a cold fish.
Keep reading: ice idioms

Winter idioms
Winter Idioms & Phrases

6) Get/Have Cold Feet

to suddenly become too frightened or nervous to do something you had planned to do


  • He was going to try bungee jumping, but he got cold feet.
  • My best friend got cold feet at the last moment and called off the wedding.
  • Jennifer has booked a skydive, but I think she's going to get cold feet and cancel it.

7) A Snowball Effect

a process of continuously accelerating change in size, importance, etc.


  • He ignored his debt for so long that now, he's experiencing a snowball effect that threatens to crush him financially.
  • The more successful you become, the more publicity you get and that publicity generates sales. It's a kind of snowball effect.

8) Bundle (Someone) Up

to put warm clothes on yourself or someone else


  • I bundled him up in a blanket and gave him a hot drink.
  • After the coffee they bundled up and walked down to the river.

9) Out Cold

If someone is out cold, they are unconscious or sleeping very heavily.


  • My son was out cold after our long hike. He slept all the way home.
  • My daughter was out cold in the car; she didn't even wake up when I carried her to her bed.

10) Leave Somebody Out in the Cold

to not include someone in a group or an activity


  • The changes benefit management but leave the workers out in the cold.
  • When she lost her phone, she felt left out in the cold - no one invited her to anything!
  • When he arrived late to the meeting, everyone had already formed teams, and he felt like he was left out in the cold.

11) (As) Pure as the Driven Snow

used to describe someone who is completely innocent and does not have any moral flaws


  • The young child’s heart was pure as the driven snow, untouched by the world’s harsh realities.
  • How dare she criticize me for having an affair? She's not exactly as pure as the driven snow herself.

12) Catch Your Death of Cold

to catch a very bad cold because you are not wearing dry or warm clothes, etc.


  • Don't go out without a coat! You'll catch your death of cold!
  • She'll catch her death of cold if she leaves the house with wet hair—it's freezing outside!

13) Cold Comfort

sympathy, help, or encouragement that is barely enough to improve someone's situation or make them feel any better


  • After losing the game, hearing that we played well was cold comfort to us.
  • The good news about the economy is cold comfort to people who have lost their jobs.

14) When Hell Freezes Over

If you say that something will happen when hell freezes over, you mean that it will never happen.


  • “I’ll stop smoking when hell freezes over,” said Grandpa.
  • Saurabh is very arrogant and stubborn he will apologize when hell freezes over.

15) Snug As Bug in a Rug

in an extremely comfortable position or situation


  • When I got the kitten inside from the rain, it felt snug as a bug in a rug.
  • After her cold and wet walk home through the storm, Saumya warmed herself by the fire and soon was as snug as a bug in a rug.

16) Under the Weather

If you say that you are under the weather, you mean that you feel slightly ill.


  • I noticed that the dog was looking a little under the weather.
  • Dua feels under the weather, so I’m going to pick up some cold medicine for her.
  • My daughter was a bit under the weather yesterday, but she's feeling much better today.

17) Blow/Run Hot and Cold

used to describe when you keep changing your attitude towards something, sometimes being very enthusiastic and at other times expressing no interest at all


  • Her boyfriend keeps running hot and cold whenever she asks him to marry her.
  • I don’t think it’s fair when people blow hot and cold, and don’t tell you clearly what they want.
  • Emma's feelings about him run hot and cold, one minute she loves him, and the next, she's bored of him.

18) Brass Monkeys/Brass Monkey Weather

If you say that it is brass monkeys or brass monkey weather, you mean that it is very cold weather.


  • Shiv, it's brass monkeys out there tonight!
  • According to IMD, next week's weather is going to be so cold, that it'll be real brass monkey weather.

19) Cold Turkey

stop a habit (especially a bad habit) suddenly; the sudden ending of taking a medication or drug to which one is addicted


  • I decided to stop drinking coffee and quit cold turkey.
  • He tried lots of ways to stop smoking, even cold turkey.
  • Will the Government recognise smoking as an addiction and provide help and support to those who are forced to go cold turkey?

20) In Cold Blood

If something violent and cruel is done in cold blood, it is done intentionally and in an unemotional way.


  • The crime had been committed in cold blood.
  • The whole family was murdered in cold blood.
  • He gunned down two innocent girls in cold blood.

21) Not a Snowball’s Chance in Hell

to have no chance of succeeding


  • She doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting the job.
  • The small boat had a snowball's chance in hell of surviving the storm.
  • If Bob was caught with all the film on him, he had not a snowball's chance in hell of talking his way out of it.

22) Snowed Under (With Something)

used to emphasize that you have a lot of work or other things to deal with


  • He's absolutely snowed under with work at the moment.
  • Don't expect any help from us—we're snowed under at the moment.
  • During the holidays, Sophia was snowed under with gift shopping and preparing for the family dinner.

23) Blanket of Snow

a thick covering of snow


  • The morning sun shone on the blanket of snow in the meadow.
  • It’s not safe to drive on these roads until the blanket of snow has melted.
  • Even in late February, the mountain was still smothered under a thick blanket of snow.

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