Food Idioms

Food Idioms: Examples and Explanations

• Apple of his eye – A favorite

• As busy as popcorn on a skillet – Very active

• As easy as apple pie – Something simple

• As flat as a pancake – Very flat

• As hungry as a bear – Very hungry

• As nutty as a fruitcake – Crazy

• As slow as molasses in January – Very slow

• As sour as vinegar – Disagreeable

• As sweet as honey – Very sweet

• As thick as pea soup – Very thick

• As warm as toast – Very warm

• Bad apple – Bad person

• Bear fruit – Get results

• Big cheese – Important person

• Big enchilada – Important thing or person

• Bite off more than you can chew – Try to do more than you can handle

• Bite the hand that feeds you – Act badly to someone who helps you

• Bitter pill to swallow – Hard to take

• Bread and butter – Basic needs

• Bring home the bacon – Earn a living

• Butter up – Flatter someone to get something

• Buy a lemon – Buy something worthless

• Chew the fat – Talk

• Coffee break – A break from work to eat or drink

• Compare apples and oranges – Compare things that are very different

• Cook his goose – Damage or affect negatively

• Cook up a storm – Get something cook a large quantity

• Cool as a cucumber – Doesn’t get easily upset

• Couch potato – Someone who watches a lot of TV

• Cream of the crop – The best

• Cut the mustard – Do what is necessary

• Cry over spilt milk – Worry about something in the past

• Drop like a hot potato – To immediately stop

• Eat crow – Admit a mistake

• Eat dirt – Be humble

• Eat high on the hog – Eat fine food

• Eat humble pie – To apologize

• Eat like a bird – Eat a small amount

• Eat like a horse – Eat a lot

• Eat one’s heart out – To be jealous

• Eat out – Dine in a restaurant

• Eat out of her hands – Do what she wants

• Eat us out of house and home – Eat a lot

• Eat your words – Take back words

• Egg on – Urge someone

• Either feast or famine – Either too much or not enough

• Everything from soup to nuts – A wide variety of items

• Fat is in the fire – Big problem

• Fine kettle of fish – A mess

• Finger in the pie – Participating

• Food for thought – Something to think about

• Forbidden fruit – Something banned

• For peanuts – Inexpensive

• Full of beans – Feel energetic

• Go bananas – Excited or crazy

• Goose is cooked – Finished or in trouble

• Gravy train – Well-paying job

• Greatest thing since sliced bread – Something that is excellent

• Half a loaf is better than none – Something is better than nothing

• Half-baked – Not thought through

• Hand to someone on a silver platter – Cater to someone

• Hard nut to crack – Difficult person

• Have a lot on one’s plate – Very busy

• Have a sweet tooth – Like sweet foods

• Have bigger fish to fry – Have more important things to do

• Have egg on your face – Be embarrassed

• Have one’s cake and eat it too – Having something both ways

• In a nutshell – In summary

• In a pickle – In trouble

• Life is a bowl of cherries – Life is good

• Like taking candy from a baby – Easy to do

• Like two peas in a pod – Very similar

• Meat and potatoes – Basics, simple food

• Melt in one’s mouth – Delicious

• Not for all the tea in China – Not for any price

• Not know beans about – Unfamiliar or ignorant

• Not worth a hill of beans – Not valuable

• Nutty as a fruitcake – Crazy

• Packed in like sardines – Crowded

• Piece of cake – Easy

• Pie in the sky – A dream

• Rotten to the core – Very bad

• Salt of the Earth – Ordinary people

• Sell like hotcakes – Sell a lot

• Slice of the pie – A share of something

• Small potatoes – Unimportant

• Spill the beans – Tell a secret

• Stick to your ribs – Last a long time

• Sugarcoat – Gloss over bad information

• Take with a grain of salt – Don’t take something seriously

• That’s the way the cookie crumbles – Things happen

• There is no such thing as a free lunch – Can’t get something for nothing

• Top banana – Leader

• Variety is the spice of life – Differences give life interest

• Walk on eggshells – Be cautious

• Whole enchilada – Entire thing

History

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