Getting cold feet before your wedding day can be disastrous. Getting married is a major life step and it’s natural that doubts will creep in, but a full change of heart is a huge issue.
While the phrase is common in the English language, it is often related to engaged couples who experience a sudden change of feelings. But where does this saying come from? As with any tradition in the wedding world, it has a unique and complicated origin.
Having ‘cold feet’ can refer to any instance in which someone loses courage or confidence for a specific event. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest use of the phrase can be attributed to writer and poet Stephen Crane.
In the 1896 edition of “Maggie: A Girl of the Streets,”, the author wrote: “I knew this was the way it would be. They got cold feet.”
By the early 1990s, the phrase entered the common lexicon and was mostly used on college campuses before the term ‘coldfooter’ became synonymous with those too afraid to fight in the Great War.
Soon, the saying extended to more spheres of society and became common parlance. It became especially popular in the wedding world in the 1990s after the film ‘Runaway Bride’ premiered.