Winter Idioms

winter idioms

This article is about English winter idioms. By learning them, you can enrich your speech and impress your teacher at an international English exam. Remember that most idioms are colloquial expressions. So, it would be better to avoid them in essays, but use during speaking.

1. In the dead of winter

If you are “in the dead of winter”, that means in the middle of winter, when it is very cold and dark.

Behind the house was a forest with a stream that was beautiful, even in the dead of winter.

2. To walk (skate) on thin ice

People who are walking on thin ice, are in a risky situation.

If you try that idea, you’ll really be on thin ice

If you don’t want to find yourself on thin ice, you must be sure of your facts.

You need to be careful! You’re walking on thin ice

3. A snowball’s chance in hell

This idiom means no chance  of succeeding at all.

If he can’t afford a good lawyer, he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. 

With those results she hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of getting into university. 

4. Break the ice

You break the ice if you start a conversation with someone you have not met before.

I never know how to break the ice with someone I’ve just met at a party.

A nice smile does a lot to break the ice

5. A snowball effect

This idiom stands for a situation in which something increases in size or importance at a faster and faster rate.

The more successful you become, the more publicity you get and that publicity generates sales. It’s a sort of snowball effect

The closures are expected to have a snowball effect, impacting jobs and tax revenues.

6. To get cold feet

This means to become too frightened to do something you had planned to do, especially something important such as getting married.

 I’m worried she may be getting cold feet about our trip to Africa.

After arranging our date I got cold feet and phoned her saying I was busy. 

7. To winter over

This expression means to spend the winter at some place.

The bears all winter over in their dens.

My parents winter over in India.

8. To put something on ice

If you put a project on ice, you postpone acting.

I know he keeps demanding an answer, but we’ll just have to put him on ice until we know more. 

Let’s put this project on ice till we figure out how to proceed.

9. To be as pure as the driven snow

This idiom means to be morally completely good.

How dare he criticize me? He’s not exactly as pure as the driven snow himself. 

10. To cut no ice

This is a conversational idiom, which means to have no influence or effect

I’ve heard her excuses and they cut no ice with me. 

Your attitude cuts no ice with me

11. To be snowed under

This expression means to have so much work that you have problems dealing with it all.

I’m absolutely snowed under with work at the moment.

He’s been snowed under with urgent cases.