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Cool Card

You are a cool card (or pretty cool card). A person who coolly asks for something preposterous or outrageous. Card = character, hence a queer card, a rum card, etc. And “cool” in this connection means coolly impudent.

Gifford says the phrase means a “cooling-card, or bolus ”; but this is not likely, as a cool-card acts generally as an irritant. A person's card of address is given at the door, and represents the person himself, and this without doubt is the card referred to.

“You're a shaky old card; and you can't be in love with this Lizzie.” —Dickens: Our Mutual Friend, book iii. chap. i. p. 192.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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