Where did the term breaking the ice come from?
While some might connect the idiom to the 18th century when special ice-breaking ships were built to help explore he polar regions, the first recorded use actually goes back to the 17th century (1678) when Samuel Butler used it in his poem Hudibras. “The Oratour – At last broke silence, and the Ice.”
What is the literal meaning of break the ice?
To do something as a means of reducing or eliminating shyness, awkward tension, or unfamiliarity. I was so nervous about meeting Samantha’s parents for the first time, but her dad immediately broke the ice by asking about my car, and everything went great after that.
Is breaking the ice a metaphor?
‘ ‘Break the ice’ began its life as a metaphor. It means to do some small thing that will dispel the awkwardness of a situation before the real business of that situation begins.
What is the meaning of grease the palm of?
Give someone money in exchange for a favor; also, bribe someone. For example, If you want you luggage to make the plane, be sure to grease the porter’s palm.
Where did Cat got your tongue come from?
Cat got your tongue? Origin: The English Navy used to use a whip called “Cat-o’-nine-tails” for flogging. The pain was so severe that it caused the victim to stay quiet for a long time. Another possible source could be from ancient Egypt, where liars’ and blasphemers’ tongues were cut out and fed to the cats.
What does pulling a fast one mean?
Engage in a deceitful practice or play an unfair trick. For example, He pulled a fast one when he gave me that fake employment record, or She tried to put over a fast one, but we found out in time to stop her. [
What does flat as a pancake mean?
informal. : very flat The land there is (as) flat as a pancake.
What is the meaning of idiom a hot potato?
A hot potato is an issue that makes everyone feel uncomfortable. The phrase hot potato comes up a lot in politics. For example, a reporter might explain that a candidate won’t speak about a controversial topic because it’s “a political hot potato,” or an issue that people disagree strongly about.
What does the idiom cold feet mean?
: apprehension or doubt strong enough to prevent a planned course of action.
What is the meaning of the idiom back to the wall?
In a hard-pressed situation; also, without any way of escape. For example, In the closing few minutes, our team had its back to the wall but continued to fight gallantly, or The bank has him with his back to the wall; he’ll have to pay up now.
What does the idiom to break the ice mean?
Break the Ice. “Break the ice” is a common idiom that means to get past formalities to get something accomplished or to reach a relaxed attitude in a socially awkward situation.
What is the origin of the phrase break the ice?
Origin of Break the Ice. This idiom most likely developed from the practice of boats at sea breaking the ice in a body of water in order to pass through it and clear a path for other boats to also travel through. This phrase has been used with its literal meaning since around the early 1600s, and its idiomatic usage developed somewhat later.
Who broke the ice?
JFK’s humor broke the ice. Published 9:03 am Monday, November 29, 2010. Fifty years ago, in late November 1960, Democrat John F. Kennedy was president-elect.