If you use set expressions and idioms, this is the first sign of a high level of English proficiency. However, few know the idiom, it is important to be able to apply them. The same expression may be appropriate in different situations.
Idioms in any language, there are so many, and to speed up the memorization of expression, it is advisable to divide them into thematic subgroups. In this article, we’ll discuss the idioms associated with food.
We have tried to think of examples that illustrate most vividly the value of each expression. Also you will find an explanation that will help you to better memorize new expression for you.
- Couch potato
My brother is a real couch potato! He spends all the time lying on the couch and watching TV! He does not even go outside! — My brother is an extremely lazy person!
We all know that the couch — bed, sofa, couch, therefore, couch potato — a person who lies all day on the couch, watching TV, has no hobbies and is a passive way of life. We can also be called a man idler, bumpkin, a bummer. The term is more often used in informal communication, be careful.
- Apple of one’s eye
Mary’s little son is the apple of her eye. — Mary loves her son very much.
John says that his new car is the apple of his eye. — John says that likes his new car a lot.
Apple of one’s eye — it’s either a person or an object to which someone is tenderly and lovingly, we say «the apple of an eye.»
- Cool as a cucumber
Though many students were nervous before the exam, Tom was as cool as a cucumber. — Though many students were nervous before the exam, Tom was calm and not anxious.
This is a prime example of an idiom that could mislead us if we try to translate it literally. Cucumbers really cool to the touch, but why compare the person with this vegetable? The fact that one of the meanings of the word cool — the unflappable, calm, therefore, this expression means that the person behaves quietly, discreetly, in cold blood, do not worry and do not panic in everyday life, and in a difficult situation.
- To be one’s cup of tea
Knitting is really my mother’s cup of tea. — My mother likes knitting very much.
I think Maths is not my cup of tea. — I am not very keen on Maths, I do not like it.
Tea is always a pleasure to the English, but everyone has their favorite brand of tea, one to which he was accustomed. Therefore, your cup of tea — this occupation, hobby, something you enjoy, pleasure, it turns out well. Accordingly, not your cup of tea has the opposite meaning.
- It’s another cup of tea
When I went to England, I realised that it was another cup of tea. — When I went to England, I realised that the life there was completely different from what I was used to.
This expression is often confused with the previous one, but it has a different meaning. This idiom can be translated as «another matter», «quite another matter.»
I must admit that my project failed because it was half-baked. — I must admit that my project failed because it was not thought out carefully.
Dan’s answer was half-baked, so got low mark at the seminar. — Dan’s answer was poor, so got low mark at the seminar.
Raw, half-baked cake can be delicious, as well as ill-conceived and ill-advised plan, superficial answer. This expression is used to describe the substandard, unfinished plans, projects, and sometimes in relation to man, in the sense of inexperienced, immature (half-baked doctor).
- Hard nut to crack
It is impossible to persuade Max from doing it. He is a hard nut to crack. — It is impossible to persuade Max from doing it. He is difficult to influence.
Physics is a hard nut to crack for me. — Physics is very difficult for me to understand.
«Die Hard», «nut too tough» — usually translated as the expression. Or used in relation to man, which is difficult to «see through» or affect him, either in relation to the problem, a subject that is difficult to understand.
- In a nutshell
As she had only few minutes, she told us the story in a nutshell. — As she had only few minutes, she told us the story very briefly.
I’ll tell you in a nutshell what I am going to do. — I’ll tell you in a few words what I am going to do.
This expression means, in short, briefly, in a nutshell. The literal translation of «in-shell» that is, without going into the details of the case.
- Make one’s mouth water
This picture of grilled chicken makes my mouth water. — When I see this picture of grilled chicken I want to eat it because it looks very good.
The smell from the kitchen made his mouth water. — The smell from the kitchen made him feel hungry.
If we see something or hear the smell of delicious food, we say «my mouth flowed.» Idiom make one’s mouth water means the same thing.
- Out of the frying pan and into the fire
After she had lost her job she knew that her flat was burgled. She jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. — After she had lost her job she knew that her flat was burgled. After one bad situation she faced a worse one.
Literal translation: «from the frying pan into the fire», and in Russian, we have an expression like «out of the frying pan into the fire so» that could not be accurately conveys the meaning of this idiom. If a person from one difficult situation to another gets even more complicated, it is the expression of it.
- Sell like hot cakes
The new books by this author sell like hot cakes. — The new books by this author sell quickly.
Before Christmas toys sell like hot cakes. — Before Christmas toys sell rapidly and in high quantities.
Talking about the product, which is not a long time at the counter, and sold out very quickly and, as a rule, in large quantities, we say that he is sold like hot cakes (hot cakes). However, be careful, because this idiom is often used in casual conversation.
- Full of beans
Your grandmother is full of beans in spite of her age! Where does she get her energy from? — Your grandmother is full of enthusiasm and vitality in spite of her age! Where does she get her energy from?
It is believed that the expression preserved from the days when horses were fed beans, then fed the horses behaved lively and active. The phrase stuck, and now, referring to the vigorous, living person, use this idiom.
- Take something with a pinch (grain) of salt
Take Mary’s stories with a pinch of salt. She tends to make up most of them. — Do not believe all of Mary’s stories. She tends to make up most of them.
Previously, it was believed that salt has healing properties and can cure the poison, so the meal taken with a pinch of salt, if you suspect that it might be poisoned. In our time, the expression acquired a slightly different meaning. We use this idiom, speaking about the facts to which we relate to the degree of doubt, suspicion, doubt their truth, do not take for granted.
- Be like chalk and cheese
I do not know how Sam and Ann can get on well. They are like chalk and cheese. — I do not know how Sam and Ann can get on well. They are completely different.
What could be more common in chalk and cheese? Nothing! Hence the expression: completely different, diverse, having nothing to do. It can be used in relation to people and objects.
I hope you learned a lot of new and interesting things from this article.
And to secure the material to your attention a little exercise.
You need to correct errors in the expressions:
- Couch tomato
- Cold as a cucumber
- Sell like hot pies
- Make one’s mouth open
- In a shell
- Take something with a pinch (grain) of sugar
- Hard nut to open
- It’s another cup of coffee
- Apple of one’s ear
- Full of peas
- To be one’s glass of tea
- Be like milk and cheese
- Out of the saucepan and into the fire
Try to use these expressions as often as possible. I advise you to make your own examples of these idioms to work out their use in practice. Publish your examples, and we will be happy to check them. Continues to replenish its idiomatic Dictionary with us!