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What Does “Cold As Stone” Mean? Where Does It Come From?

What Does “Cold As Stone” Mean? Where Does It Come From?

If you ever met someone who’s having trouble expressing how they feel, it’s not because they don’t like you. Some people are ‘cold as stone,’ which is a phrase used to represent an insensitive person.

To be ‘Cold As Stone’ means to have a very distant or insensible personality. It is often used as figurative language. It comes from the word coldness, and it is commonly related to when someone doesn’t express or show their emotions.

This is an informal way to express when someone is indifferent or dry. Cold as stone means the lack of warmth in a situation or sensations. If you want to learn more about this term, keep reading.

Where Does The Phrase ‘cold As Stone’ Came From?

Shakespeare was the first person to coin this idiom as he was the one who used it in Henry V (1589) Act II in Scene III ‘and all was as cold as any stone.’ Alluding that it was so indifferent, it did not show any emotions. But it is not very if Shakespeare was the one who used this expression for the first time since there are other references like ‘blind as a stone’ which derives from something similar.

Back in the 1400s, people used similar citations in books or in day-to-day conversations to deliver the message that a situation was near death, obviously as a figurative way of saying that it was not showing a lot of emotions. They often used stone-cold, stone-deaf, or stone-blind, alluding to the inertia of something not expressing with a lot of passion.

This is an informal way of using the word cold to describe a situation. For example, something ‘complete or absolute’ is a logical and formal way of expressing the original meaning. In this case, the idea of a stone is used metaphorically to refer to cold or indifferent. Stones are also a good example when defining that something is not subject to change.

In more recent times, the phrase cold as the stone comes to mean similarly to ‘stone-cold sober and any other related terms. The usage of stone as part of the informal idiom began in the 20th century.

Back in the days, some commentators used the phrase ‘stonewall penalty’ when describing a certain plain penalty that didn’t necessarily mean they made a mistake in the game. This also adds another sense to this common phrase. A cold stone is a plain situation or person.

Cold as a stone is being used in a humorous way of describing a situation that is difficult to read because it is not showing any clear expressions.

It is difficult to understand people with a cold stone character. Since the majority of the time, they are not showing any clear emotions, it is uncertain to determine whether they are happy, sad or if it’s just inertia. In this case, we are focusing on the cold-stoned people. But this is mainly to explain that something is not warm enough when feeling or to the touch.

We will refer to different ways of using the phrase since this idiom has various useful ways to be applied in our everyday language to refer to a very cold moment that you felt was ‘cold as stone.


What Does ‘Cold As Stone’ Mean?

It can be interpreted in two different ways. Occasionally, it means a person or object is very cold or describes the state of an individual’s emotions. People may refer to someone as cold as ice when they believe he lacks feelings. In either case, the phrase is not meant literally.

Depending on what or where you are trying to use ‘cold stone’ as an expression, this could be used in different ways. Therefore, the meaning will depend on you. Whether you want to define a plain situation as something cold or if you want to relate this term to a person who didn’t express enough emotion.

Although using this phrase will rely on what you are aiming to communicate. The word cold, as we know, is used to explain the decrease in temperature. This informal idiom was created to express the same idea more comfortably when referring to something specific.

Many sayings could be correlated to this expression, which we will explain in more depth later below, but the common denominator in all of these popular phrases or idioms is that they all express the lack of warmth.

Cold as stone also works as an idiom to express something that is well defined and obvious, working as a straightforward sentence for the message. The rating fee rising is a ‘stone-cold certainty’ despite our request to keep it low.

In this case, stone as cold and cold as stone work in the same way. The meaning and the idiom are used to express a similar idea. Some people tend to say that because the words are not in the same order, there’s a chance for the phrase to mean something else. Even though an idiom sometimes could express different ideas in the same jargon, this is not the case.

How Can I Use This Expression?


In most cases, this expression is used to describe a person’s emotions or feelings, or rather, a lack of them. For example, you can use it in an unfriendly manner. In essence, it means that the person lacks emotion.

It will all depend on the type of situation in which you’ll want to use this idiom. Another example of when to use is when an individual is lacking sympathy for another and acts as they don’t care about other people’s emotional or physical pain—resulting in a straight or poker face if an incident happened.

Additionally, an individual could use this phrase to represent himself. For instance, if he feels like he should’ve acted differently in a very sensitive situation, he might say he is as cold as stone. He could also use this phrase to describe the temperature of his ungloved hands.

People usually do not use this phrase literally, so it is important to keep that in mind. The item or person isn’t freezing, but they use it as a comparison to freezing temperatures. This is an example of an idiom, a word or phrase that is used in everyday speech and has a common meaning but is not meant to be taken literally.

More Idioms

Related Terms And Words For ‘cold As Stone.’

As many idioms tend to have different jargons for the same expression, ‘cold as stone’ is also one of them. This phrase has a variety of ways that will express a similar idea. Focusing mainly on referring to someone’s way of being sympathetic

Here’s a list of popular words or jargon we can say similar to cold as stone.


We call a cold-hearted person when being uncaring or emotionally detached. Cold-hearted people are often known for having a lack of sympathy and interest in others.

As cold as ice

This is another idiom that represents a person who does not show any excitement or interest. When someone uses the phrase ‘As cold as ice,’ it is because that is very cold. Another adjective people commonly use for this expression is ‘ice-cold,’ and it is the same thing.


This refers to something being cold, finding it hard for the other person to even digest it. We can also use it to describe human behavior when they are acting distant and emotionless than before.

Cold feet

This idiom is a little different in comparison to the above-mentioned definition. But it almost leads to the same meaning. To get ‘cold feet’ is getting timid or losing the courage to handle a specific situation.

Cold feet sometimes can be associated with stone-cold popularity, but there’s a difference. The first one is that one of them is not brave enough to speak what’s in their heart but will eventually express some emotion. At the same time, cold stone people find it challenging and incapable of showing any kind of affection.

Sentence Uses

Here are some examples of when or how the phrase ‘cold as stone’ in a more efficient way.

  • Samantha’s boyfriend is so cold as stone! He didn’t even smile after getting the gift.
  • My hands are cold as stone in these gloves. They are so thin they’re not getting my hands warm enough.
  • The dinner was stone-cold when I was about to eat it. I think the microwave is not working.
  • When they got back from playing outside, their food got cold as stone!



This term implies that someone’s heart is warm, denoting affection and sympathy—the opposite of cold-hearted to cold as stone people. The use of the word was first recorded in the 1500s, adding -heart to the word as a figurative meaning.

There are a lot of ways to describe someone’s personality. Whether they are cold as a stone or warm-hearted, but now you will be able to recognize how to use the proper idiom when someone is having trouble putting the words of how they feel out there.