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Ice

(1 syl.). To break the ice. To broach a disagreeable subject; to open the way. In allusion to breaking ice for bathers. (Latin, scindero glaciem; Italian, romper il giaccio.) (Anglo-Saxon, is.)

[We] An' If you break the ice, and do this feat ...
Will not so graceless be, to be ingrate.

Shakespeare: Taming of the Shrew, i. 2.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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