22/6/18 Winter Idioms (Part 2)

  • The snowball effect

A situation or problem when the consequences grow at a faster rate over time.

“The beginning popularity of applications for the iPhone and Android created a snowball effect and now there is an endless number of apps for smartphones.”

  • To get cold feet

To lose courage; to suddenly become too nervous to do something important (like giving a speech, getting married, doing something adventurous).

“Sarah’s piano recital was last weekend. Unfortunately, she got cold feet and she didn’t perform.”

  • The cold shoulder

To reject someone; to not speak to someone.

“Laura’s giving me the cold shoulder. I guess she’s still mad that I forgot her birthday last week.”

  • When hell freezes over / A snowball’s chance in hell

Never; impossible; no chance.

(These idioms come from the idea that hell is very hot – it will never freeze and a snowball can’t survive in hell. These idioms are always used negatively.)

“If she doesn’t improve her grades, she’s got a snowball’s chance in hell to get into the best university.”

“Is it possible to get to the train station in 30 minutes? When hell freezes over! With normal traffic, it will take you at least an hour, maybe more.”