Where did the phrase The Iceman Cometh originate?

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The Iceman Cometh is the title of a world famous play written by Eugene O Neil in 1946. The story takes place in New York City in 1912 and features a cast of down and out drunken bums congregating in a seedy skid row bar. They all await the annual visit by Hickey, the free spending sport who threw the biggest party of the year. However Hickey is not in his usual carefree mood but instead says he has faced his sad reality and encourages his friends to do likewise. There is never an appearance by The Iceman in the story but he is referred to as possibly being the reason for Hickey s bad mood. It seems as though the iceman in that era had a reputation being a little too friendly with some of the lonesome housewives while making his deliveries. But in the end, Hickey is arrested for the murder of his wife and The Iceman is only a reference used to symbolize Death in Eugene O Neil s most well known work.
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