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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. Everyone was deathly silent after John went ballistic and left the meeting. I tried breaking the ice with a joke, but it didn't help.
See also: break, ice

cut no ice

To have no impact or effect. I'm sorry, but that ridiculous rationale cuts no ice with me and will not change my mind.
See also: cut, ice


1. n. diamonds; jewels. (Underworld.) That old dame has tons of ice in her hotel room.
2. n. cocaine; crystalline cocaine. (Drugs.) Max deals mostly in ice but can get you almost anything.
3. tv. to kill someone; to kill an informer. (see also chill.) Mr. Big ordered Sam to ice you-know-who.
4. tv. to ignore someone. (see also chill.) Bart iced Sam for obvious reasons.
5. tv. to embarrass someone; to make someone look foolish. Don’t ice me in front of my friends.
6. n. money given as a bribe, especially to the police. (Underworld.) A lot of those cops take ice.
7. mod. excellent; very cool. Her answer was ice, and she really put down that guy.
References in classic literature ?
but do you forget that the Nautilus is armed with a powerful spur, and could we not send it diagonally against these fields of ice, which would open at the shocks.
The frozen poles of the earth do not coincide, either in the southern or in the northern regions; and, until it is proved to the contrary, we may suppose either a continent or an ocean free from ice at these two points of the globe.
The Tununirmiut returned from the yearly salmon-fishing, and made their houses on the early ice to the north of Bylot's Island, ready to go after the seal as soon as the sea froze.
Kotuko went out, day after day, with a light hunting-sleigh and six or seven of the strongest dogs, looking till his eyes ached for some patch of clear ice where a seal might perhaps have scratched a breathing-hole.
When they emerged from the house, dark stains and stars in the gray field of ice did indeed indicate that the frost was breaking up, as their host had prophesied the day before, and the very memory of yesterday brought back the mystery of to-day.
No, if Bulmer had only broken the ice he wouldn't have said much at the moment, though possibly a good deal afterward.
Now we swung a little north of west, leaving the valley of lost souls, and shortly I discerned over our starboard bow what appeared to be a black mountain rising from the desolate waste of ice.
The pails were already skinned over with young ice when he picked them up and made for the cabin.
And Tarwater would lift his voice in the cackling chant, as he lifted it at the end, when the boat swung in through driving cake- ice and moored to the Dawson City bank, and all waterfront Dawson pricked its ears to hear the triumphant paean:
I have seen at one time lying on the ice pickerel of at least three different kinds: a long and shallow one, steel-colored, most like those caught in the river; a bright golden kind, with greenish reflections and remarkably deep, which is the most common here; and another, golden-colored, and shaped like the last, but peppered on the sides with small dark brown or black spots, intermixed with a few faint blood-red ones, very much like a trout.
At first you wonder if the Indians could have formed them on the ice for any purpose, and so, when the ice melted, they sank to the bottom; but they are too regular and some of them plainly too fresh for that.
Its wild water defied the frost, and it was in the eddies only and in the quiet places that the ice held at all.
Levin rose to his feet, took off his overcoat, and scurrying over the rough ice round the hut, came out on the smooth ice and skated without effort, as it were, by simple exercise of will, increasing and slackening speed and turning his course.
About two hours after this occurrence we heard the ground sea, and before night the ice broke and freed our ship.
Winkle was perfectly marvellous, and described circles with his left leg, and cut figures of eight, and inscribed upon the ice, without once stopping for breath, a great many other pleasant and astonishing devices, to the excessive satisfaction of Mr.