The Dowager Countess imparts another winner against her frenemy, Isobel, in the battle of the barbs , as quoted by pbs.org.
I haven't watched season 6 but I'm only interested in knowing in what this snarky comment means. I'm aware of 'moral high ground' but I don't understand in what sense cold has been used.
I debated posting this question on ELL but thought that someone who's more familiar with the context might be able to help me better.
Cold has various meanings so I don't know which sense would best connote what Violet meant.

1 Answer 1


"High ground," taken literally and to the extreme, could refer to a mountain or some such, where the air is significantly colder year-round than it is down near sea level. There may even be snow up there all the time.

Additionally, "warmth" is often used as a descriptive term in conjunction with being loved or surrounded by family and friends. Being "cold" could thus be used for the opposite - someone who is lonely and isolated.

So, asking if it's "cold" up on the "moral high ground" is extending the logic of the metaphor to suggest that her opponent must be lonely and uncomfortable all the way "up there." (ie: as a result of being such a goody two-shoes.)

  • @Steve Can I sarcastically use this line for some who tries to claim the moral high ground and is very proud to do that?
    – Nikki
    Apr 29, 2017 at 7:50
  • @Nikki Yes, that's pretty much what's going on here (or at least that's what Violet was suggesting.)
    – Steve-O
    Apr 29, 2017 at 12:32
  • @Steve Alright then. Thankyou so much for your help!
    – Nikki
    Apr 29, 2017 at 15:01
  • in addition to the metaphor, there's an insult technique where you ask a rhetorical question as an alternative to stating an insult. So "what is the weather like on your planet?" instead of "you are so odd is it as though you are from another planet!" This technique hurts because it sounds like the person is asking something they want to know, then it suddenly turns and you get both the insult and the twist-betrayal thing. Apr 29, 2017 at 15:22

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