black icing on the cake

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Wookie, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Wookie

    Wookie Senior Member

    Korea, Korean
    "It's the most ill-conceived pile of stupidity by the biggest bunch of cretins that I've ever seen in my life, " says Ross Wheeler, CEO of, a regional ISP, referring to the web-filtering plan. "Every ISP that I know of has either publicly or privately said it's technically and practically impossible." The leak was further black icing on the cake.
    This is from an article in TIME and the article is about Australia government's web-filtering plan.

    I know "icing on the cake" means something good that is added to another good thing.
    Then does "black icing on the cake" mean something bad that is added to another bad thing?
  2. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    Black ice is
    So I think there is a play on words here.

    You can find more definitions of "black ice" by entering define: "black ice" in Google.
  3. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    I think Swisspete is thoroughly mistaken; "black ice" of the sort mentioned is practically unknown in Australia.

    On the other hand, Wookie, I think your understanding is exactly correct. It is traditional to use the word "black" in English to mean something bad. A "black day" is a day when bad things happen, a "black mood" is severe unhappiness, and "black icing" would mean completing something bad with a bad finishing touch.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009

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