Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Why We Say: #11

Cold Feet

Maybe this falls into the TMI category, but I wear socks at night. My tootsies get cold, and cold tootsies prevent a good night’s sleep. However, having cold feet and being accused of having cold feet have two very different meanings.

The scene: Two soldiers from the 19th century are standing around on the battlefront and they are freezing cold, like most soldiers in winter.

“So, Joe, are you as cold as I am?”

“Yeah, my nose is cold, my ear lobes are cold. I think my eyelashes are frozen.”

“Mine too. I think my toes are frozen.”

“You got cold feet? You should report that. I hear they’re letting us out if we got cold feet.  Can’t fight if you’ve got cold feet, you know.”

“You’re right. Thanks for the tip. You know I could see how this could be considered an excuse for not standing your ground and fighting.”

“Yeah, I can see your point, Horace. Cold feet, cold courage. Whoa, look lively–incoming. Remind me to loan you a pair of extra socks. The missus sent me some handmade woolies in the last package.

“You’re a real buddy, Joe.”

“Don’t mention it.”


Well, maybe Joe and Horace could have had a similar conversation standing around in some frozen field as they stood around soldiering.

Cold feet. I still hear that expression today. That reluctance to do something because we are a bit nervous, or lack that needed chutzpah to grab the opportunity does seem to create a coldness in our extremities. I don’t think wool socks always is the solution either.

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3 thoughts on “Why We Say: #11

  1. My feet are always hot at night. On the other hand, I’ve had my share of cold-feet moments in life…

  2. Never knew about Joe and Horace, Pam 🙂 Great conversation you made up there! 😀

    And it’s funny how I’ve fluctuated with the “cold feet” thing at night. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I began actually NEEDing to cover my feet at night. Before that I would get too hot. I actually have to have very specific socks for it, too! I buy the fuzzy kind and they have to fit loosely enough that, if my feet warm up and get TOO hot, I can slide them off without having to use my hands 🙂 It’s quite the science! lol

  3. My feet are always the first things to get too hot. In short, I am a barefoot sleeper and I would never be able to get out of combat duty.

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