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Key-cold

Deadly cold, lifeless. A key, on account of its coldness, is still sometimes employed to stop bleeding at the nose.

Poor key-cold figure of a holy king!
Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster!
Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood!

Shakespeare: Richard III., i. 2.

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