Tasty Idioms to spice up your English

Mar 7, 2017 | Language

Idioms are phrases or expressions (comprising of groups of words) whose meanings are generally different from that conveyed by the literal meanings of the individual words. For example, “cup of tea” is a common idiom that means something you like or are good at. Similarly, the idiom “to kill two birds with one stone” does not literally mean that you are going to kill two birds with one stone; instead, it means to solve two problems or achieve two aims with a single action. It’s easy to identify idioms as their literal meanings don’t make much sense in most cases.

Idioms can be very useful to express your thoughts and emotions since they can reduce verbosity and are a shorter way of expressing more complicated ideas. They also add color to the language and can be quite fun to use! In fact, English language is estimated to have more than 25,000 idiomatic expressions. So, there’s no dearth of expressions to choose from. However, in this article, we look at 9 common idioms that contain food-related words and their meanings (that really have nothing to do with food!).

Interesting Food-related English Idioms, their Meaning & usage

Common food-related English Idioms: Use your Noodle

Use your noodle

Meaning: To use your brain or intelligence/ To think logically. Noodle is a slang for a person’s head or brain.

Examples:

  • You really need to use your noodle to solve these puzzles.
  • You can’t always depend on others to make your decisions. You’ve to start using your noodle!
Interesting food-related English Idioms: Fat is in the fire

Fat is in the fire

Meaning: Something has been said or done that is going to cause a lot of trouble.

Examples:

  • Exams start in 3 days and I’m far from prepared. The fat is in the fire!
  • Now that John has disclosed this information to them, the fat is really in the fire.
Interesting food Idioms: Upset the apple cart

Upset the apple cart

Meaning: To cause problem or trouble by spoiling someone’s plans or ruining an event.

Examples:

  • We were all excited to start our trip but the traffic on the way to the airport upset the apple cart and we missed our flight.
  • I don’t want to upset the apple cart by asking you to work late on your wedding anniversary.
Common English Idioms related to food: Walk on eggshells

Walk on eggshells

Meaning: To be extremely cautious with your words and actions so that you don’t offend anyone or do anything wrong.

Examples:

  • He is such a perfectionist that everyone at work walks on eggshells around him.
  • Being the only male in the panel talking about feminism, he was walking on eggshells throughout the discussion.
Interesting English Idioms related to food: Spill the beans

Spill the beans

Meaning: To give away or reveal secret information.

Examples:

  • The police have been trying to make the criminal spill the beans about his plans.
  • The politician was furious when one of his aides spilled the beans about his misutilization of funds.
Common food idioms in English & their usage: In a pickle

In a pickle

Meaning: In trouble or a difficult situation

Examples:

  • He is in a pickle after failing his mid-term exams.
  • Tom and Su have been fighting a lot these days but both claim that their relationship is not in a pickle.
Food-related English idioms and their meaning: Hard nut to crack

Hard nut to crack

Meaning: A difficult problem to solve or a person who is difficult to understand or deal with.

Examples:

  • As he has always been such a hard nut to crack, people often misjudge him.
  • The professor punished the students by giving them an assignment that was a hard nut to crack.
Food idioms and their meanings: Have a sweet tooth

Have a sweet tooth

Meaning: To have a great liking for sweet foods such as candy, chocolates, pastries and sweets.

Examples:

  • We must get a cake for her; she has a sweet tooth.
  • If you have a sweet tooth, the dessert menu at the new hotel will surely please you.
English Idioms and their meanings: Bitter pill to swallow

Bitter pill to swallow

Meaning: An unpleasant fact or event that one must accept even though it’s painful or difficult to accept.

Examples:

  • It was a bitter pill to swallow when I learnt that I won’t get the bonus.
  • Failing the entrance exam after a year of rigorous preparation was a bitter pill to swallow.