English Idiom – On Thin Ice or Be Skating/Treading/Walking On Thin Ice.

Meaning – To be doing something dangerous or risky. If someone is on thin ice they are doing something that may have unpleasant consequences for them. To be in a risky or precarious situation.

This idiom is referencing the literal act of skating on thin ice. If you are literally skating on thin ice you are in danger of falling through the ice into the cold water below!

Related Expressions:


When could you use this idiom?

  • If you are in trouble at school or work – when one more mistake could have serious consequences.
  • You have been arrested more than once, but are still breaking the law.
  • A football player is refusing to obey the manager’s instructions and is at risk of being dropped from the team.


  • “This is not the first time you have forgotten to hand in your homework this week. You are skating on thin ice and risk failing this class!”

In The News:

“Both Of Them Are On Thin Ice” – Aakash Chopra On Rahane And Pujara’s Poor Show


  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.

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