die kalte Schulter zeigen

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German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Literally show the cold shoulder, which uses the verb used in the first recorded use of the expression, which was in 1816 by Sir Walter Scott in Scots (“The Countess’s dislike didna gang farther at first than just showing o’ the cauld shouther”.) This expression and its German equivalent are mistranslations of dederunt umerum recedentem from the Book of Nehemiah 9.29 from the Vulgate Bible, which actually means "stubbornly they turned their backs on you", which comes from the Septuagint Bible's equivalent ἔδωκαν (édōkan) νῶτον ἀπειθοῦντα. Latin umerus means both "shoulder" and "back".

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

die kalte Schulter zeigen (takes dative case)

  1. to give somebody the cold shoulder
    • 2009, Peter Schilder, Hase Jurk und Igel Hahn in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2009-08-25, p.3
      Die SPD will davon nichts wissen und zeigt der Linkspartei die kalte Schulter.
      The SPD doesn’t want to hear about that and gives the Left Party the cold shoulder.