+44 20 7242 2234
Bloomsbury International Youtube Bloomsbury International Facebook Bloomsbury International Twitter Bloomsbury International Instagram Bloomsbury International Skype
Idiom

To be Left Out in the Cold / To Come in from the Cold: Origin and Meaning

Meaning
To be left out in the cold means to be ignored, forgotten and neglected. In contrast, to come in from the cold means to be welcomed into a group, particularly if you are a newcomer or are alone.
Origin
The January doldrumsIf you are “left out in the cold”, the literal meaning is that you are left outside and not able to enter the warm house. This has come to mean that you have been ignored or forgotten by others, who will not allow you to share the warmth and friendliness of their activity or conversation. Often we shorten this to the phrase “to be left out”, which means that others have purposefully chosen not to include you in their games and plans. The opposite idiom, “to come in from the cold”, means to be allowed to move from a position of isolation or exclusion outside the group and to come inside, thus feeling included and accepted. In 1963, the British author John Le Carré published his espionage novel “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold”; from this point the phrase has come to refer to a spy or political exile who is allowed to return to his home country after a period of isolation or hiding.
Examples
“After his baby brother was born, Edward struggled to catch his parents’ attention and he really felt left out in the cold.”

“As soon as she went to the table where the group was sitting, they stopped talking. She was left out in the cold.”

“It’s time for the European Union to invite other countries to come in from the cold.”