Posted by ESC on October 09, 2000
In Reply to: In cold blood? posted by Bob on October 09, 2000
: : What is the origin/meaning of the phrase "in cold Blood?"
: Meaning: with remorseless ruthlessness. Like a (cold-blooded) reptile, to act cruelly, without humanity. Origin or first use? Don't know.
COLD BLOOD -- "Early physiologists believed that the blood actually boiled within the body when a person grew excited and that it grew cold when someone was calm or detached.. While the term 'in hot blood' suggested by the belief is no longer heard (hot-blooded is), 'in cold blood' remains as common as it was back in the late 16th century.Mankind has always regarded calculated killing in cold blood as something less than human." "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997)