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