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 use the word cold.
The ramparts of Luzern, Switzerland at twilight (Steve Ember/VOA)
For centuries, the body's blood has been linked closely with the emotions. People who show no human emotions or feelings, 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 had decided to do. For example, you agree 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 refuse to speak to them. You treat them in a distant, cold way. The expression probably comes from the physical act of turning your back toward someone, instead of speaking to him face-to-face. You may give a cold shoulder to a friend who has not kept a 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 does not offer much of himself to anyone.
Someone who is a cold fish could be cold-hearted. A cold-hearted person is someone who has no sympathy. Several popular songs in recent years were about cold-hearted men or cold-hearted women who, without feeling, broke the hearts 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. And it is not a pleasant place to be.
Alpine Winter: A winter scene on Schynige Platte in the Swiss Alps (Steve Ember/VOA)
This VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories was written by Marilyn Rice Christiano.
Maurice Joyce was the narrator.
I'm Shirley Griffith.
1.cold-blooded adj. [生理] 冷血的；残酷的，无情的；怕冷的
He gave a cold - blooded account of the accident.
2.cold feet 害怕，胆怯；信心或勇气的丧失
He planned to participate in the demonstration, but then he got cold feet.
3.cold shoulder 冷遇；冷淡对待
After he double - crossed his best friend, everyone gave him the cold shoulder.
1. A person might say that everybody but him got a pay raise -- that he was left out in the cold.
be/get left out in the cold 遭受冷落
He was left out in the cold at school because he didn't like sports.
When the coalition was formed, the Communists were left out in the cold.
寒冷也能影响身体其他部位，比如脚。如果你的脚真的冷了，厚袜子能为脚保暖 。但有个说法是get cold feet(害怕，怯场)，它和冷或者脚都没有关系 。这个表达是说害怕一些已经做出决定的事，比如，你已答应做某组织的主席，但后来你得知其他官员均已辞职，该组织的全部工作都落到你身上 。了解情况后你可能会害怕这个主席的职位 。
当你拒绝与人讲话时，你是在冷落人家(give the cold shoulder)，你会疏远他们。这个表达可能来自你背对别人的举动，而不是面对面讲话 。你可能对冷落一位不遵守诺言的朋友，或者那些对别人说有关你的谎话的人 。
cold fish(冷血动物)不是一条鱼，而是人，但这个人并不友好，没有感情、爱心和温暖。冷血动物不给别人太多帮助 。
Out in the cold(被忽视)也是个常见的表达，意思是没有得到别人都得到的东西，当其他人都涨薪水而自己没有的时候，这个人会说自己被忽略了，这可不是好受的处境。
这里是美国之音慢速英语词汇典故，作者Marilyn Rice Christiano，叙述者Maurice Joyce，我是雪莉·格里菲斯。