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Idioms

30 Idioms based on Food

These are English idioms based on food and cooking. You can also try this Food Idioms Quiz

Click on any idiom for more information, including example sentences, notes and quizzes.

Idioms

(have) egg on your face Informal

You have egg on your face if you've said or done something wrong, and it's made you feel embarrassed or stupid.

(your) bread and butter

Your bread and butter is your livelihood or the source of your income.

a couch potato

You can say someone's a couch potato if they're very lazy and they spend a lot of time sitting around watching TV and eating junk food.

a flash in the pan

You can say something or someone is a flash in the pan if they're popular or effective for a short time only.

a knuckle sandwich Informal

If you give someone a knuckle sandwich, you punch them.

a piece of cake British English

If you say that something is a piece of cake, you mean that it is extremely easy.

a recipe for disaster

Something is a recipe for disaster if it's going to cause trouble or serious problems.

chew the fat | chew the rag

If you chew the fat, or chew the rag, you have a long, friendly chat with someone.

drink like a fish Informal

If someone drinks like a fish, they drink a lot of alcohol.

easy as pie | easy as abc

If something's as easy as pie, or easy as abc, it's very easy.

eat humble pie British English

If you eat humble pie, you admit that you are in the wrong and behave apologetically.

eat your words

If you eat your words, you admit that something you said was wrong.

go down a treat British English

If something goes down a treat, it's a great success and everyone enjoys it.

grease someone's palm Informal

If you grease someone's palm, you pay them a bribe.

half-baked Informal

If something is half-baked, it hasn't been properly thought out or planned.

hard to swallow

Something that someone has said is hard to swallow if it's difficult to believe.

in a nutshell Informal

You can say "in a nutshell" if you're about to describe something as briefly as possible, or you're going to sum something up.

junk food

Food that is bad for us because it contains large amounts of harmful substances like artificial colouring, preservatives, salt, refined sugar, and so on.

kill the goose that lays the golden egg

If you kill the goose that lays the golden egg, you destroy something that has made you a lot of money.

not your cup of tea

If something is not your cup of tea, it's not what you like or what you're interested in.

on the back burner

If a plan or a project is on the back burner, it isn't being worked on at present, but it might be completed in the future.

put all your eggs in the one basket Informal

If you put all your eggs in the one basket, you put all your efforts or resources into one person, one thing or one plan, and if things don't work out, you lose everything.

take with a grain of salt | take with a pinch of salt

If you take what someone says with a grain of salt, or with a pinch of salt, you have doubts about the truth or accuracy of what they say.

talk turkey

If you talk turkey, you discuss something seriously, usually to do with business or money.

the cream of the crop

If something or someone is in the cream of the crop, they are among the best of a class of things or people.

the icing on the cake | the frosting on the cake

If something is the icing on the cake, or the frosting on the cake, it makes a good situation or a good result even better.

the upper crust

If you are one of the upper crust, you are a member of society's highest class.

upset the applecart

If you upset the applecart, you do something that causes trouble or upsets someone's plans.

whet your appetite

If something whets your appetite, it makes you want something, or it stimulates your desire for something.

You are what you eat.

You can say "you are what you eat" when you want to point out the connection between food and health.

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