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come in from the cold

Slang definitions & phrases for come in from the cold

come in from the cold

verb phrase
  1. To retire from espionage service: coming in from the cold and staying free might be out of reach (1960s+)
  2. To return to comfort, acclaim, etc, after a period of relative obscurity: An Osmond comes in from the cold (1980s+)

[popularized by the John le Carre´ 1963 novel The Spy Who Came In from the Cold]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with come in from the cold

come in from the cold

Also, come in out of the cold . Return to shelter and safety, be welcomed into a group. For example, Bill was fed up with traveling on his own for the company and hoped they'd let him come in from the cold , or After years of not being invited to join, Steve was finally asked to come in out of the cold . This phrase, generally used figuratively, gained currency in the 1960s with John LeCarré's best-selling spy novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold , about a long-time British spy in the cold war who longed to abandon the dirty tricks of his profession. Also see come in out of the rain
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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