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Get Cold Feet - Idiom for IELTS with Meaning, History and Example

Learn this idiom to warm up your IELTS vocabulary and don’t get cold feet before your IELTS exam!
Know the Meaning
‘Get cold feet’ means to feel nervous or hesitant, especially before a significant event.

It captures the fear or anxiety that can cause second thoughts or hesitation.
Trace its Roots
Even though the exact root of the idiom is not clear, it is most likely to have originated in the theater.
Wondering why?
Actors nervous before a performance would attribute their cold feet to stage fright.

It gradually evolved into a common expression for pre-event anxiety.
  • He got cold feet before the presentation, but somehow managed it.
  • Although she had cold feet about the job interview, she aced the interview.
Using idioms like ‘Get cold feet’ in IELTS Speaking adds a genuine feel to your response, thereby enhancing your overall communication with your IELTS examiner.

Let’s explore how it might be used during the IELTS exam!

Certainly! Last month, I got cold feet before a job interview. Despite thorough preparation, the pressure got to me. However, once the interview started, I regained my composure and performed well.


Can you talk about a time when you were nervous?


Describe a risky decision you made.Examiner: Describe a risky decision you made.


I remember deciding to travel solo to a foreign country. Initially, I got cold feet thinking about the uncertainties, but the experience turned out to be incredibly enriching, and I learned to embrace challenges…
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