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Food Idioms

5 min read
21 December 2020
students eating ice-creams

We all know how important food is in our day-to-day lives. We go to great lengths to cook fabulous meals and get excited when we have the chance to eat at a new and interesting restaurant. When you travel, one of the best things you get to discover is the local cuisine. Whether you are trying the world-famous pizza in New York, or indulging in a bit of Fish and Chips in a British seaside town like Bournemouth, there is so many dishes to discover around the world. So how do we use food in our everyday language? We’ve put together a list of some of the most popular food-related idioms, looking closer at what they mean and how to use them.


1. Cool as a cucumber 

Meaning: This is another way to say that someone is calm and composed.

Example: "The exam is next week and I'm as cool as a cucumber."


2. Bad apple

Meaning: A troublemaker, much like "bad egg", which is listed below. 

Example: "Mike is a real bad apple. He always causes trouble at work."


3. Bad egg

Meaning: Someone who is described as a “bad egg” is someone who is dishonest or behaves poorly on a regular basis.

Example: "There's something not right about Joe - he's a bad egg."


4. Big cheese

Meaning: An influential person.

Example: "Tony is the boss of the whole sales and marketing department. He is a big cheese."



5. Bigger fish to fry 

Meaning: This means that you have more important things to do.

Example: "I'm not worried about that, I've got bigger fish to fry."


6. Bring home the bacon 

Meaning: The person who “brings home the bacon” is someone who is earning the most money.

Example: "Simon took another job so he could bring home the bacon."


7. Couch potato

Meaning: A lazy person who usually just sits at home to watch television or Netflix.

Example:  "Hazel is such a couch potato. She just sits around all day watching television!"


8. Egg head

Meaning: A very academic person.

Example: "Julian passed all of this exams. He is such an egg head!"


9. Full of beans

Meaning: This is another way of saying that a person has a lot of energy and enthusiasm.

Example: "The kids at childcare were full of beans today."


students eating at a restaurant


10. Good egg

Meaning: the opposite of "bag egg", when someone is a good egg they are honest and trustworthy.

Example: "I feel like I can trust Fred with anything, he's a good egg."


11. Hart nut to crack

Meaning: A problem that is difficult to solve is also known as “a hard nut to crack.”

Example: "That grammar question in the test was a hard nut to crack, don't you think?"


12. Piece of cake

Meaning: This is another way of describing a task as easy or simple.

Example: "Learning to drive is a piece of cake." 


13. Top banana

Meaning: The chief person in a group.

Example: "Morag is the captain of the netball team. She is the top banana!"


14. With a pinch of salt

Meaning: Taking something “with a pinch of salt” means that you are listening to a story or an explanation with a sense of doubt or uncertainty.

Example: "You have to take this data with a pinch of salt until the correct data is released."


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