on thin ice


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on thin ice

Precariously close to getting into trouble, difficulty, or danger. You're on thin ice, Jefferson. If you come in late one more time, you're fired! Following his recent comments, the senator has found himself on thin ice with his constituents.
See also: ice, on, thin

on thin ice

 
1. Lit. on ice that is too thin to support one. (See also skate on thin ice; walk on thin ice.) Billy is on thin ice and is in great danger.
2. Fig. in a risky situation. If you try that you'll really be on thin ice. That's too risky. If you don't want to find yourself on thin ice, you must be sure of your facts.
See also: ice, on, thin

on thin ice

In a precarious or risky position, as in After failing the midterm, he was on thin ice with his math teacher. This metaphor is often rounded out as skate on thin ice, as in He knew he was skating on thin ice when he took his rent money with him to the racetrack. This idiom, which alludes to the danger that treading on thin ice will cause it to break, was first used figuratively by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay Prudence (1841): "In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed."
See also: ice, on, thin

(skating) on thin ice

in a precarious or risky situation.
See also: ice, on, thin

on thin ice

In a precarious position.
See also: ice, on, thin
References in periodicals archive ?
SKATING ON THIN ICE? I like to think the ladies will be impressed by my dance moves.
SKATING ON THIN ICE? I'm afraid of falling, breaking something or hurting myself.
SKATING ON THIN ICE? Last time on ice, I fell over on live TV.
"We also urge anyone who witnesses a person, or pet, in trouble on thin ice not to attempt a rescue themselves."
FIRST FROST: Early morning in Sefton Park DANGEROUS GAME: These boys took their life in their hands on thin ice - despite warnings across the city Picture: MIKE PRICE
With such uncertainty, "predicting [sea level] in the future is really out on thin ice," he says.