Break The Ice

Meaning of “Break the Ice”

The phrase “break the ice” means to break the silence in the groups, gatherings, or relationships. It also means to restart relationships between two friends or families. The phrase is also used to break the social formality norms to make a person or group comfortable. The phrase is used in most corporate training sessions to help the trainees feel at ease with the trainer.

Origin of “Break the Ice”

The phrase “break the ice” has originated from Plutarch’s Lives translated by Sir Thomas North as back as in 1579. There it goes thus: “To be the first to break the Ice of the Enterprize.” However, its meanings were a bit different. Then Samuel Butler used it in his book, Hudibras, published in 1678 in these meanings as: “The Oratour – At last broke silence, and the Ice.” Since then, it has been used in almost the same meanings as given above.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Break The Ice by Franca Kenneth

Thinking about the past is destructive.
Face forward and focus on the future.
Let your new motto be ‘‘Time to move on’’
Just let your past stop interfering.
Always guide your feelings and never forget,
Those who risked their lives for your freedom.

Even if the world is pulling down on you,
Happiness comes from within.
Whatever you do, do it for the right reason,
And you will be happy.
There is nothing worse than the stink of fear,
Especially when it is your own.

So get on with the present, move into the future.
Someone got to break the ice.
Let the world know there is no more defeats in your life.
Let the past go, its gone.
All you have now is just today.
So break the ice

The poem is about wars and the sacrifice of soldiers. He encourages us to remember them and their sacrifices. The poet also advises that happiness is our own and we should always think about the future. We must forget the past whose recollection is not only destructive but also fearful. Even if the world stays in the past or present, the poet argues, someone must “break the ice” first and moves the world forward.

Example #2

Let’s Break The Ice by Aluko Oluwaremilekun Tosin

Let’s break the ice
That freezes us cold
And makes strangers of us.

Let’s break the ice
That threatens to break us
As the iceberg did the Titanic.

Let’s break the ice
And use on our swollen broken ego
That our friendship won’t be ago.

Let’s break the ice,
Ice of formality and distrust,
Ice of aloofness and malice.

Let this wall of ice fall
Like that of Jericho Wall.

The poet encourages each of use to break the barrier or being cold-hearted. Indirectly, the poem talks about the types of characters that harm friendships or relationships. Most people don’t maintain a good relationship because of aloofness, formality, malice which are just like the iceberg that sank the titanic. The ice also forms like a wall. If we are to make this world a beautiful place, we must break this ice. The verse “Let’s break this ice” has been repeated several times. It is also compared to the Biblical Jericho wall. Hence, by breaking the ice of formality and distrust, the world can be more united.

Example #3

Break the Ice by Britney Spears

Ooh, looks like we’re alone now
You ain’t gotta be scared
Where you going now?
I’m a have to floss on you
Let’s get it blazin’
We can turn the heat up if you wanna
Turn the lights down low if you wanna
Just wanna move you
But you’re frozen
That’s what I’m saying

Let me break the ice
Allow me to get you right

This song is about a couple. The singer finally asks her lover to start the relationship afresh by breaking the ice. The couple might have had misunderstandings in the past. Hence, the phrase means to sort out the issues in their relationship.

 Example #4

Breaking the Ice by Kim Baldwin

He grinned. “Yeah. She said she liked you right off, and that she shouldn’t have given me such a hard time about letting you come. Getting rid of her leg cramp was a nice way to break the ice.”

“I hope she still likes me when she finds out we’re sisters.”

Lars laid a hand on her shoulder. “I don’t think you have to worry. But just to make sure you have as much going for you as possible, I’d say wait until after breakfast. She wakes up like a starving bear coming out of hibernation.

Lars advises a friend, the listener, that he has broken the ice in the relationship by helping his ‘sister’ to fix the leg cramps. However, he should wait until she comes out of her sleep. The phrase is used in hope to reconcile once the patient is awake.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “Matthew’s classroom was very quiet. So he decided to play a game to break the ice.”

Example #2: “Lisa was worried about her sister and asked her if she was willing to break the ice in her relationship with their cousin.”

Example #3: “Johnson is sitting with anger as if he does not want to break the ice with the camp members.”

Example #4: “Old Major finally broke the ice and spoke to all the wild boars telling them that it is better to fight and die than to lay down and die.”

Example #5: “Kindergarten children didn’t require much time to break the ice. They loved their teacher, Miss Englehart, instantly.”