Without preparation. First used in correlation with withdrawl from an addictive substance in the 1920s with regards to heroin addiction. The idea being that "cold turkey" is a food that requires little to no preparation to eat - hence doing something "cold turkey" means the action will be done without preparation & immediately. Also connected to the notion that the symptoms of withdrawl from many substances include cold sweats (moisture), and sallow skin - much like that of a cold, dead, turkey.
He gave up his vice the old fashioned way....by going cold turkey.
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