Skating on thin ice and on thin ice

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Skating on thin ice and the abbreviated form, on thin ice, are idioms. We will examine the meaning of the idioms skating on thin ice and on thin ice, where they came from, and some examples of their idiomatic usage in sentences.

Skating on thin ice is an idiom used to describe when someone is doing something risky or dangerous. Skating on thin ice may also be used to mean that someone is engaging in behavior that will cause him trouble. The idiom on thin ice is an abbreviation of the phrase; it is the most commonly used phrase of the two. The phrases skating on thin and on thin ice came into use in the 1800s and allude to the fact that ice that is too thin to support someone’s weight will break and cause the skater to fall into the water. Hypothermia can set in quickly if one is submerged in cold water, so skating on thin ice involves taking a dangerous risk. Ice skating was invented in Scandavia 5,000 years ago.


After already warning the man that he was skating on thin ice, officers arrested him this week and charged him with “incitement against the government vaccination order,” according to a statement by the Samoan government. (The New York Post)

He said as a sociology major in the 1970s at Yale College, he was “skating on thin ice” in grasping quantum computing principles, but he supports the Yale model in which research is turned into companies that create jobs. (The New Haven Register)

You only get so many chances in this league, and I felt like I was on thin ice. (Sports Illustrated)

“It was very quid pro quo and punitive, and I always felt like I was on thin ice, and he could be truly horrible and mean and then be incredibly generous,” she said. (The Independent)