Idioms: As cool as a cucumber

Pile of fresh cucumbers with one cut openOne of the hardest things to do in recent months was to be ‘as cool as a cucumber’.
The idiom draws on the qualities of a fresh salad vegetable and the wider meaning of the word ‘cool’. It is the opposite of panic as it is a refreshed, controlled, calm state that has a positive effect on others around you. Notably, it was first used in writing in reference to women. In his 1732 poem New Song on New Similies, John Gay wrote (in verse): “Cool as a cucumber could see the rest of womankind.”
It is usually a positive state, such as “The children were shouting but their mother was as cool as a cucumber.”
But it sometimes suggests inappropriate coldness: “He was caught stealing, but was as cool as a cucumber in court.

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