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Cold Turkey – Idiom of the Day

Posted: January 7, 2021 at 9:39 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Cold Turkey – Idiom of the Day


Completely and abruptly stopping a habit as opposed to phasing it out of your life. Usually used to refer to a bad habit or an addiction.


The expression first appeared in 1921 in the Daily Colonist in British Columbia. In that period, the phrase was related to quitting addiction. 

The most probable origin comes from the similarities between a drug addict in withdrawal, and a turkey’s carcass. Both are pale and clammy. This might have led some to believe that a user in withdrawal looked like a cold turkey.


  1. The best way to quit pornography is to quit cold turkey. No easing it out of your life. 
  2. I tried quitting smoking cold turkey, and the cravings were unbearable. Maybe you should try decreasing the number of cigarettes you smoke daily over time.
  3. Alcoholics have no choice but to quit drinking cold turkey.
  4. I have a friend who quit marijuana cold turkey, and he is doing great! His life has improved by all measures.
  5. If you want to quit something, you have to quit cold turkey. Otherwise, you will be hopelessly addicted to it forever. 
  6. Ever since James quit drinking cold turkey, his family life has been so much better. He hasn’t fought with his wife ever since.
  7. While I recommend quitting cold turkey, you might go through withdrawal symptoms for a few days. It’s going to be hard, but you can get through it.
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