I read an article in "The Hindu" which was titled as:

In an oil slick

Now, the article talks about ending of waiver on sanctions to India by U.S on import of Iranian oil and India giving in to U.S bullying at the cost of its traditional ties with Iran. But, I'm having trouble figuring out what being "in an oil slick" could figuratively mean. I am not able to link the literal meaning of "slick" here.


1 Answer 1


Headlines of news articles often employ puns. For example, if a chocolate company acquires a new subsidiary, a business article about the merger might be titled something like:

Sweet Deal for Cadbury

In this case, I'm not exactly sure what the headline writer was intending to convey. But "In an oil slick" could mean:

  • In a precarious situation
  • In a slippery situation

Or it could allude to the fact that some politician deftly ended the sanctions; from Collins:

A slick action is done quickly and smoothly, and without any obvious effort.
Synonyms: skillful, deft, adroit

Or perhaps the headline writer wanted to allude to the fact that something about the whole deal seemed fishy (also from Collins):

A slick person speaks easily in a way that is likely to convince people, but is not sincere.
[disapproval] Don't be fooled by slick politicians.

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