Posted by R. Berg on December 10, 2002
In Reply to: Skating on potentially thin ice posted by ESC on December 10, 2002
: : Help me please...
: : is it the same meaning of *living on the edge*?
: : Thanks in advance...
: "Skating on thin ice" and "living on the edge." My opinion: I would say they are similar - a person in a precarious position. A hint of danger and the possibility of unexpected things happening. The phrases aren't exactly the same.
: "Skating" is more of a warning to someone else or an observation about someone else. "He's skating on thin ice."
: A person "living on the edge" makes me think of a person voluntarily taking risks just for the thrill. Mountain climbers and such.
: I've never heard "skating potentially thin ice."
A supplementary opinion: "Skating on thin ice" is the phrase usually heard. "Potentially" was inserted by the particular speaker or writer. Living on the edge and skating on thin ice both involve taking risks. To live on the edge is to do exciting, avant-garde things habitually. The person courts danger often. To skate on thin ice is to take a risk just once; the person is doing something dangerous this time and may do it again, but the phrase refers to one incident at a time. Often the danger is intellectual: the person is "going out on a limb," offering a speculation that isn't supported by enough evidence and may well be wrong. Living on the edge means pursuing a lifestyle on the edge of disaster.