Thursday, March 2, 2017

Common Expressions and their Origins, No. 10: Break the Ice

An Icebreaker

Meaning: To commence a project or initiate a friendship

History: Before the days of trains or cars, port cities that thrived on trade suffered during the winter because frozen rivers prevented commercial ships from entering the city. Small ships known as “icebreakers” would rescue the icebound ships by breaking the ice and creating a path for them to follow. Before any type of business arrangement today, it is now customary “break the ice” before beginning a project.

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