meaning and origin of the phrase ‘cold comfort’

The expression cold comfort means inadequate consolation for a misfortune. The adjective cold has long been used to mean felt as cold by the receiver, chilling, damping, discouraging. For example, the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer (circa 1342-1400) wrote, in The Nun’s Priest’s Tale:      (interlinear translation – Harvard College) Wommennes conseils been ful ofte colde;      Women’s counsels […]

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