[Vocabulary] To give somebody the cold shoulder (unconsciously)

beachboy

Key Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Portuguese
Home Country
Brazil
Current Location
Brazil
I understand that "to give somebody the cold shoulder" is something that somebody does on purpose. Would there be an expression that means "to unconsciously give somebody the cold shoulder"? For example, somebody approaches you, you go as if you wanted to shake hands, but they don't see it, they say "hello" and go.
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
I can't think of a logical phrase for that. You'd have to simply explain that he didn't ignore the other person on purpose.
 

beachboy

Key Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Portuguese
Home Country
Brazil
Current Location
Brazil
Could it be "to leave somebody hanging"?
 

Rover_KE

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
That doesn't work for me.
 

Skrej

Key Member
Joined
May 11, 2015
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Could it be "to leave somebody hanging"?

That works in AmE, but it's very informal. In fact, I'd call it slang. You'll sometimes hear it when somebody doesn't complete the 'high five' hand slapping gesture, but the gesture itself is extremely informal as well.
 
Top