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Idiomatic Expressions
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Food Idioms

 

Idiom

Meaning

Example Sentence

apple of one's eye

a person that is adored by someone

Baby Jessica is the apple of her father's eye.

(have a) bun in the oven

be pregnant

I don't think Jan will come to the bar because she has a bun in the oven.

bad egg

a person who is often in trouble

I don't want my little brother hanging around with the bad eggs on the street.

big cheese

very important person (VIP)

I thought I was just going to interview the secretary, but they let me talk to the big cheese himself.

bread and butter

necessities, the main thing

Just explain the bread and butter of your report. You don't have to go into details.

bring home the bacon

earn the income

My husband has had to bring home the bacon ever since I broke my leg.

(score) brownie points

things done or said that make someone else like you better

I scored brownie points with my teacher by bringing her a cup of coffee.

butter someone up

be extra nice to someone (usually for selfish reasons)

We'll have to butter Angie up before we tell her the news about the broken vase.

(have one's) cake and eat it too

want more than your fair share or need

Rick wants to have his cake and eat it too. He wants to be single but he doesn't want me to date anyone else.

carrot top

person with red or orange hair

Simon is the first carrot top I've ever gone out with.

cheesy

silly

I love reading cheesy romance novels because I don't have to think.

cool as a cucumber

very relaxed

I thought I was afraid of flying, but I was cool as a cucumber all the way to England.

cream of the crop

the best

We hired the cream of the crop to entertain us at the Christmas party.

(don't) cry over spilled milk

get upset over something that has happened and cannot be changed

The mirror is broken and we can't fix it. There's no need to cry over spilled milk.

cup of joe

cup of coffee

Let's stop for a cup of joe before we head to work.

(not my) cup of tea

something you enjoy (usually used negatively)

Opera isn't exactly my cup of tea.

egg someone on

urge someone to do something

The gang tried to egg us on but we didn't want to fight.

freeze one's buns off

be very cold

I froze my buns off at the ice rink.

full of beans

have a lot of (silly) energy

The kids were full of beans after the circus.

gravy train

extremely good pay for minimal work

The unionized grocers have been enjoying the gravy train for twenty years.

(have something) handed to someone on a silver platter

receive without working for something

The professor's daughter had her college diploma handed to her on a silver platter.

hard nut to crack

difficult to understand (often a person)

Angelo is a hard nut to crack when something is bothering him like this.

hot potato

a controversial or difficult subject

Choosing a location for our new store is a hot potato right now.

in a nutshell

simply

In a nutshell, I'm having a bad day.

nuts about something, someone

like a lot

I'm nuts about classical music these days.

out to lunch

crazy or mad

Harry has been out to lunch ever since he lost his job.

one smart cookie

a very intelligent person

Your daughter is one smart cookie. She reads much higher than her grade level.

peach fuzz

small amount of hair growth

Except for a bit of peach fuzz, the baby came out bald.

piece of cake

very easy

The exam was a piece of cake.

put all of ones eggs in one basket

rely on one single thing

Even though I'm majoring in Art, I'm taking a maths course because my Dad says I shouldn't put all of my eggs in one basket.

souped up

made more powerful or stylish

The car was souped up with shiny rims and a loud stereo.

sell like hot cakes

bought by many people

The new Harry Potter books sold like hot cakes.

spice things up

make something more exciting

I wanted to spice things up in the office, so I bought some red and gold paint.

spill the beans

reveal the truth

On Monday, I'm going to spill the beans about my travel plans.

take something with a pinch (grain) of salt

don't consider something 100% accurate

Take Mandy's advice with a pinch of salt. She doesn't always do her research.

use your noodle

use your brain

You're going to have to really use your noodle on this crossword puzzle. It's an extra difficult one.

 

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