30 Useful Food-Related Idioms

Food is an important part of people's daily lives, so it is not surprising that it also makes up a big part of people's daily conversations and expressions.

In this post, we take a look at some of the more common idiomatic phrases that are derived from food and eating.

A bad egg -

a person who is bad, dishonest, or unreliable.

Example: "I wouldn’t trust him, he’s got a reputation for being dishonest. He’s a bad egg."


A bitter pill (to swallow) -

something that is very unpleasant but must be accepted.

Example: “The truth about his affair had been a bitter pill to swallow."


A finger in every pie -

to be involved in or have influence over a lot of different activities or enterprises.

Example: “He’s a very busy man - he has a finger in every pie."



A good egg -

a person who is good, honest, or reliable.

Example: "Everybody likes Elliot, he's a good egg."


A hard/tough nut to crack -

a problem that is difficult to solve or a person who is difficult to understand.

Example: "The new manager is a tough nut to crack, he's never happy with our ideas."


An acquired taste -

something that is disliked at first, but gradually becomes more liked or accepted.

Example: “Living alone is an acquired taste.”


A big cheese -

an influential or important person.

Example: “I’m the big cheese around here, so you should do what I say."


To bite off more than one can chew -

to try to do something that is too big or difficult to do.

Example: “I thought I could finish this report, but I bit off more than I can chew."



To bite the hand that feeds (one) -

to scorn or poorly treat the person who is helping or has helped you.

Example: “Even though my boss can be horrible at times, I would never bite the hand that feeds me.”


Bread and butter -

a job or activity that provides one with a steady income

Example: “I can’t lose this job, it’s my bread and butter."


To bring home the bacon -

to earn a living.

Example: “My wife brings home the bacon, while I look after the children."


To eat something up -

to believe something.

Example: “He's a dishonest politician but the people seem to eat up everything he says."


One's eyes are bigger than their stomach -

one has taken more food than one can eat (humorous).

Example: “He's not going to finish all of that food on his plate. His eyes are bigger than his stomach."


(As) flat as a pancake -

to be very flat.

Example: “If something that heavy landed on him, he’d be squashed as flat as a pancake."



Food for thought

something worth seriously thinking about or considering.

Example: “My financial adviser gave me some food for thought about money management.”



To grab a bite to eat -

to get something to eat (usually quickly).

Example: “I'm just going to grab a bite to eat before I leave."


Half-baked -

a half baked idea has not been properly thought out (adjective).

Example: “This new half-baked scheme is going to fail, just like the last one."


To have a lot/enough on one's plate -

to be too busy.

Example: “I'm afraid I can't help you at the moment, I have enough on my plate already."


To have a sweet tooth -

to desire sweet foods, especially sweets and chocolates.

Example: “Shelley has a sweet tooth, she is always eating sweets."


To have bigger fish to fry -

to have more important or more interesting things to do.

Example: “I'm not going to attend the meeting tomorrow, I have bigger fish to fry."


To have egg on one's face -

to be embarrassed or appear stupid because of something that you have done.

Example: “She had egg on her face when she stormed out of the office and fell over on her way out."


To be hungry for something -

to have a strong desire for something.

Example: “He's a young and ambitious entrepreneur who is hungry for success."


To be like taking candy from a baby -

to be very easy to accomplish.

Example: “We won that game easily, it was like taking candy from a baby."



To make a meal (out) of something -

to spend too much time or energy on something.

Example: “Steven is really making a meal out of fixing that shed, he's been at it for days now."


To make mincemeat (out) of someone -

to easily defeat someone in an argument, competition or fight.

Example: “He's a young and hungry boxer who made mincemeat out of his last opponent."


To put all of one's eggs in one basket -

to depend completely on a single person or plan of action, usually at the risk of losing everything if that person or plan is not successful.

Example: “He invests his money in many different companies to avoid putting all of his eggs in one basket."


To take something with a grain/pinch of salt -

to understand that something may not be completely true or accurate.

Example: “I always take whatever he says with a grain of salt."



The best thing since sliced bread -

to be an excellent person or thing.

Example: “He loves his new smartphone, he thinks it's the best thing since sliced bread."


The cream of the crop -

the best of a group of similar things or people.

Example: “My new company car is the cream of the crop."

idiom- the cream of the crop


The icing on the cake -

something that makes a good thing even better.

Example: “I'm loving my new job, the money is great and the company car is the icing on the cake."

Can you think of any more food related idioms or would you like to practice making your own sentences using any of these idioms? Leave a comment below...

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