slippery slick

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flowersophy

Senior Member
Chinese-China
Hi,

I read such a news title in China Daily:"Crude shock lands Chinese oil majors on a slippery slick." I wonder what "slippery slick" means.

Many thanks!
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Slippery means, um, slippery, which oil can be. Slick is an oil slick (noun) ... which is why it's used in a headline about oil.

    Editors spend a great deal of time coming up with clever, and sometimes self-indulgent, headlines. They are not written by the person who writes the story.
     

    flowersophy

    Senior Member
    Chinese-China
    Slippery means, um, slippery, which oil can be. Slick is an oil slick (noun) ... which is why it's used in a headline about oil.

    Editors spend a great deal of time coming up with clever, and sometimes self-indulgent, headlines. They are not written by the person who writes the story.
    But I am still confused about the meaning of "land...on slippery slick" :confused:
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Imagine standing on one spot and then taking a jump to a spot four feet away (we'll make it easy). When your feet come back to earth again after your jump, you can be said to land (like an airplane). We even talk about people landing on their feet (rather than falling to the ground) after a setback or unexpected occurrence.

    Now imagine that when you landed, you didn't land on dry ground, but on a slippery slick of oil poured on a marble floor. There's every chance you'd lose your balance. That's what's happening with the major oil producers. They've landed unexpectedly on/in a spot where it's difficult to maintain their balance.
     

    flowersophy

    Senior Member
    Chinese-China
    Imagine standing on one spot and then taking a jump to a spot four feet away (we'll make it easy). When your feet come back to earth again after your jump, you can be said to land (like an airplane). We even talk about people landing on their feet (rather than falling to the ground) after a setback or unexpected occurrence.

    Now imagine that when you landed, you didn't land on dry ground, but on a slippery slick of oil poured on a marble floor. There's every chance you'd lose your balance. That's what's happening with the major oil producers. They've landed unexpectedly on/in a spot where it's difficult to maintain their balance.
    I see. Copyright, thank you for your vivid explanation!
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I thine headline writer is playing with words by combining the idiom "on a slippery slope" with "oil slick."
     
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