Language Tips

Get expert tips on language, grammar, style and vocabulary

Food Idioms

5 min read
by
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."

 

How good is your English?
kaplan-blog-banner-english-test

Take our free test today and discover what your English level really is! 

 

Want to learn more about how you can study English at one of our schools across the world? Check out some of Kaplan's General or Intensive English courses.

Tags

  • Language tips

    Get expert advice on grammar, vocabulary, and spelling 

  • English

    Secure a deeper understanding of the English language 

  • Idioms

    Discover fun and interesting idioms from around the world

Share this article