Do You Know These COLD Idioms?


Level: Intermediate    Reading Time: 6 minutes    Category: Idioms

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Idioms are a great way to improve your English communication skills. They will help you sound more natural and you will be able to understand native speakers more easily. In this lesson you will learn 5 idioms that are related to the cold!

Snowed Under:

Definition: To be too busy or have too many things to do.

This idiom is really useful when you want to express that you are very busy. Imagine that your work is falling like snow and it keeps piling up until you are totally buried by it! 

Here are some examples:

  • I can’t make it this weekend. I am totally snowed under at work.
  • He said he is always snowed under in April.
  • I tried to call you but there was no answer… I guess you are pretty snowed under at the moment.


If you are snowed under, and want to know to improve your English quickly, check out these study tips!

     Why Has My English Stopped Improving?

Put ~ on ice:

Definition: To delay something or to pause doing something.

You can use this idiom when you want to delay something, such as making a decision or doing an annoying task. Ice delays food going bad, right? We use the same idea with this idiom.

This is how you can use this idiom:

  • Let’s put this project on ice while we get more details.
  • I think we need to put this relationship on ice for a while.
  • Can I put making this decision on ice for a week to think about it?


You shouldn’t put your English studies on Ice though, check out this lesson for tips to improve your English quickly!:

     5 Things You Need To Quickly Improve Your English

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Leave ~ out in the cold:

Definition: To exclude someone from a group or activity.

We usually use this idiom to express that someone is being excluded from something. Imagine that being in a group is warm and if you are outside the group, it’s pretty cold, right?

Check out these examples:

  • My chorus group left me out in the cold and didn’t tell me about practice!
  • Let’s not leave anyone in the cold in this project, OK?
  • I’m sick of being left out in the cold… I QUIT!


Don’t leave your speaking practice out in the cold… Check out this lesson for some tips:

  How to Improve your English Speaking by Shadowing!

when hell freezes over:

Definition: a situation that is never going to happen.

Hell is a hot place, right? It is almost impossible that it will freeze, right? This is a situation is never going to happen. That is the meaning of this idiom. We often use it in a bit of a sarcastic way.

Here are some examples:

  • I’ll say I’m sorry when hell freezes over!
  • She said she would only date me when hell freezes over!
  • Steve was on time?!? Did hell freeze over?


You can stop studying English when hell freezes over… until then, maybe you should read this:

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Tip of the iceberg:

Definition: Only a small part of the situation or problem is known at the moment.

Icebergs are those big lumps of ice in the ocean. A small part of them can be seen above the water, but there is much more hidden under the surface.

Now imagine that iceberg is a situation or problem. You know the small part above the water, but there is a lot more that you do not know. That is how we use this idiom.

Here are some examples:

  • This problem is just the tip of the iceberg
  • Grammar is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning a language.
  • I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. We are going to make so much money if we keep selling products like this!


When it comes to idioms, this lesson is just the tip of the iceberg… why not learn some more idioms today?

     5 Better Ways to Say Happy! – English Idioms


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