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be skating on thin ice
To be doing something very risky or dangerous that could result in imminent disaster or ruin. I hope you realize that you'll be skating on thin ice if you decide to gamble your employees' retirement funds on such a dodgy investment.
get (one's) skates on
To hurry up or move faster. Timmy, get your skates on, or we'll be late to the party! If these guys don't get their skates on, we'll be here moving boxes all day.
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.
put (one's) skates on
To hurry up or move faster. Timmy, put your skates on, or we'll be late to the party! If these guys don't put their skates on, we'll be here moving boxes all day.
a cheap skate
Someone who is reluctant to spend money. Oh, he'll never pay for a fancy hotel suite like that—he's a real cheap skate.
skate over (something)
1. Literally, to glide over some surface on an ice skate, roller skate, or inline skate. Sometimes I just like to sit here in the winter and watch people skating over the frozen pond. The ref skated over to make sure the hockey player wasn't injured.
2. By extension, to deal with or touch upon something hastily, superficially, or evasively. His presentation really highlighted and focused on the positives of the year and only skates over the problems he encountered. Stop skating over this, Tom, it's a real problem that we need to address!
1. To move or travel from place to place on roller skates, ice skates, inline skates, or a skateboard, especially in an aimless or meandering manner. Tom and Jeff are skating around in the cul-de-sac. Why don't you head out there and join them? My mom still had some things to do in work before she was ready to drive us home, so I just skated around in front of her office building until she was done.
2. To avoid (someone or something) while moving on roller skates, ice skates, or a skateboard. Everyone just skated around the man who had fallen in the middle of the ice rink. I nearly fell off my board when I had to skate around the car that pulled out in front of me on the road.
3. To move or travel in one or more circles around (someone or something); to encircle (someone or something). I know it's your first time on the ice, so we're just going to skate around the edge of the rink for the time being. The group of bullies skated around me in a really intimidating way.
4. To avoid or evade (some issue or topic), as by circumlocution. Possibly a corruption of "skirt around (someone or something)." He always skates around the issue whenever I bring up pay raises for the people on my team. When asked about his role in the scandal, the CEO skated around the issue with a longwinded non sequitur about his loyalty to his company and its customers.
skate on (something)
To use roller skates, inline skates, ice skates, or a skateboard on some particular surface or area. You've got to be absolutely sure about the thickness of the ice before you go out skating on the frozen lake. We've had a real problem with kids skating on the long handrails of the staircase that leads up to the entrance of our office building.
skating on thin ice
Engaged in some activity or behavior that is very risky, dangerous, or likely to cause a lot of trouble. I hope you realize that you'll be skating on thin ice if you decide to gamble your employees' retirement funds on such a dodgy investment. Honestly, I wouldn't even mention the new woman in work, or you could find yourself skating on thin ice with your wife.
A pair of roller, inline, or ice skates. I'm asking for some new skates for Christmas! They only had one pair of skates left, and they kept pinching my feet the whole time I was out on the ice.
slang Code for crystal meth (methamphetamine hydrochloride). A reference to the ice-like appearance of the drug. I've got the grass for you. If you want something a bit stronger, I've got some ice skates as well.
slang Smoking or being intoxicated by smoking crystal meth (methamphetamine hydrochloride). A reference to the ice-like appearance of the drug. I was down to smoke a bit of pot with him, but when he asked me if I wanted to go ice-skating, I knew it was time to get out of there. There's always a bunch of junkies ice-skating under the bridge on the way out of town.
*awkward as a cow on a crutchand *awkward as a cow on roller skates
very clumsy or off balance. (*Also: as ~.) When Lulu was overweight, she was awkward as a cow on a crutch. Tom will never be a gymnast. He's as awkward as a cow on roller skates!
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.
to skate here and there in no particular direction. Let's go over to the pond and skate around. We will skate around for a while until we get too cold.
skate around someone or something
1. to skate to one side or the other of someone or something. Somehow I managed to skate around the child without knocking her down. I skated around the tree limb and avoided an accident.
2. to circle someone or something while skating. The children skated around their instructor until she was satisfied with their form. We skated around the post in a circle.
skate on something
to skate on a particular surface. You can't skate on that ice! It's too thin. Don't skate on the ice until it has been scraped smooth.
skate on thin ice
Fig. to be in a risky situation. (Fig. on the image of someone taking the risk of ice skating on thin ice.) I try to stay well informed so I don't end up skating on thin ice when the teacher asks me a question. You are skating on thin ice when you ask me that!
skate over something
1. Lit. to move over something, skating. I love to be the first one to skate over newly frozen ice. I skated over the pond too soon and the ice cracked while I was on it.
2. Fig. to move over or deal with something quickly. The speaker skated over the touchy issues with discretion. I will skate over the things that I am not sure about.
A stingy person, as in He's a real cheap skate when it comes to tipping. This idiom combines cheap (for "penurious") with the slang usage of skate for a contemptible or low individual. It has largely replaced the earlier cheap John. [Slang; late 1800s]
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."
Treat superficially or hurriedly, avoid mentioning, as in He concentrated on the main points of the contract and skated over the details. This idiom transfers the gliding motion of skating to dealing with something in a cursory way. [Mid-1900s]
be skating on thin ice
COMMON If someone is skating on thin ice, they are doing something which could have unpleasant consequences for them. He told me I was skating on thin ice and should change my attitude. Note: Verbs such as tread, walk or stand can be used instead of skate. Watch it Max, Christopher thought gleefully, you're treading on very thin ice. Note: You can also just say that someone is on thin ice. I could see I was on thin ice. His professional pride was injured.
get your skates onmainly BRITISH, INFORMAL
If someone tells you to get your skates on, they are telling you to hurry up. Come on, get your skates on — we should be there by now! Bargain hunters had better get their skates on — the best properties are selling fast.
(skating) on thin icein a precarious or risky situation.
get your skates onmake haste; hurry up. British informal
get/put your ˈskates on(British English, informal) hurry up: If you don’t put your skates on, you’ll be late for work.
be skating/walking on ˌthin ˈicebe in a risky or dangerous situation: They were skating on very thin ice, publishing the election result before it had been confirmed.
1. n. a drinking bout. He’s off on another three-day skate.
2. n. a drunkard; a person on a drinking spree. A couple of skates celebrating the new year ran into my car.
3. n. something really easy. The test was a skate!
4. in. to get drunk. Let’s go out and skate, okay?
n. shoes. It looks like somebody looged on your skates!
mod. drug intoxicated. He’s high all right—I’d say he’s skating. He took some wicked pills and is totally skating.
on thin ice
In a precarious position.
on thin ice, to be/skate
A hazardous course of action or conversation. “In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay Prudence (1841). Literally, it is possible to skate over very thin ice without breaking through if one glides quickly enough, but Emerson was already using the expression figuratively.