Cold as charity

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Cold as charity an ironical phrase implying the coldness of much so-called charity, which should naturally be warm
    • Cold as charity a proverbial phrase expressing ironically great coldness or indifference
    • ***

Quotations

  • Lord Byron
    Lord%20Byron
    “I am as comfortless as a pilgrim with peas in his shoes -- and as cold as Charity, Chastity or any other Virtue.”

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. ceald; Scot, cauld, Ger. kalt; cog. also with Eng. cool, Ice. kala, to freeze, L. gelidusgelu, frost.

Usage

In literature:

Charity's hands grew cold as they touched her.
"Summer" by Edith Wharton
They are as cold as Presbyterian charity, and mean enough to put the sun in eclipse, are the English.
"The Attache" by Thomas Chandler Haliburton
They are as cold as Presbyterian charity, and mean enough to put the sun in eclipse, are the English.
"The Attache" by Thomas Chandler Haliburton
It's as cold as charity.
"The Winning Clue" by James Hay, Jr.
Now the fowl would be dried to a cinder, the potatoes moist and sodden, the apples cold as charity!
"Two Little Travellers" by Frances Browne Arthur
Charity, cold as her hand oftentimes is, supplied him with something.
"Forty Years in the Wilderness of Pills and Powders" by William A. Alcott
It was Christmas Day, and cold as charity.
"Memoirs of an American Prima Donna" by Clara Louise Kellogg
I grew hot with rage, but the grate remained as cold as charity.
"Under One Flag" by Richard Marsh
It was dusk when we reached London, and as cold as charity.
"Johnny Ludlow. First Series" by Mrs. Henry Wood
I felt as cold as charity.
"Johnny Ludlow, Third Series" by Mrs. Henry Wood
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In poetry:

Tell physic of her boldness;
Tell skill it is pretension;
Tell charity of coldness;
Tell law it is contention:
And as they do reply,
So give them still the lie.
"The Lie" by Sir Walter Raleigh
No polish'd coffin enclosed his breast,
Nor in purple or linen they wound him,
As a stranger he died; he went to rest
With cold charity's shroud wrapt 'round him.
"The Death And Burial Of McDonald Clarke: A Parody" by Walt Whitman