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."
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."
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."