from The Century Dictionary.

  • Cold as a key; icy; lifeless; inanimate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Formerly, a proverbial expression. Cold as a metallic key; lifeless.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective obsolete Cold as a metallic key; lifeless.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Overnight lows in the low 20's have left me key-cold, here in Florida of all places.

    December 16, 2010

  • Wuh?

    December 16, 2010

  • Florida... keys....

    Makes sense to me!

    December 17, 2010

  • The Florida Keys are cold?

    December 17, 2010

  • I'm far north of the Keys - overnight lows in the 20's the past few nights, but warmer for the next few days. I've saved my winter vegetables from freezing by laying strings of Christmas lights among the rows and tenting with bedsheets and tarpaulins.

    December 17, 2010

  • Is there a Florida list yet? If not, I nominate hernesheir to start one.

    December 17, 2010

  • Brr, that is quite cold. But why would you be key-cold, any more than anyone is their-area-cold? Is there some pun here that I'm missing?

    Sorry for being such a bore.

    December 17, 2010

  • Ahem! key-cold is listed as an adjective in GNU Webster's 1913 with this definition: "Cold as a metallic key; lifeless."

    The pun and perhaps the ensuing confusion stems from ruzuzu's mention of the Florida Keys?

    December 17, 2010

  • Gah! Thanks. Thought I'd checked the definitions yesterday but obvs not.

    December 17, 2010

  • Mwohahaha!

    December 17, 2010