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To Put (Some One) on Ice

Posted by ESC on March 05, 2003

In Reply to: To Put (Some One) on Ice posted by TheFallen on March 05, 2003

: : Hello, I was just hoping to learn the meaning and origin of the phrase "to put (some one) on ice". Thanks in advance for any assistance.

: Over here in the UK, to put someone or something on ice means to put to one side, to decide to deal with the person or thing at a much later date. I suspect the idiom comes from the storage of food, where literally putting some perishable item on ice meant that you could indeed come back to it at a later stage.

PUT ON ICE - "Set aside; stored; kept in reserve until needed. The ice house or ice box, filled with blocks of ice cut from a lake or a river, predates the gas or electric refrigerator. People were putting food on blocks of ice a century ago to preserve it. The idea transferred readily to things other than food. Paul L. Ford offered this version in 'The Honorable Peter Stirling' : 'They say she's never been able to find a man good enough for her, so she's keeping herself on ice." From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).