Food – English idioms and sayings

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To chat, to talk casually.
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to chew the fat
Every time I meet up with my best friend we spend hours just chewing the fat.
A short break from work.
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coffee break
also: tea break
I spend my coffee/tea breaks in the nearby café.
To spread rumors.
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to dish the dirt
I'm not interested in gossips. I don't like dishing the dirt.
To share a cost of something; when each person participating in a group activity pays for themselves (especially when it comes to paying a restaurant bill).
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to go Dutch
When I go to a restaurant with my friends we usually go Dutch.
To be shamed; to display humility; to admit that one was wrong.
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to eat dirt
I'm not used to eating dirt, I hate being humiliated.
To admit that you made a mistake and apologize.
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to eat humble pie
A famous politician had to eat a humble pie and admit he was wrong.
To eat very much or eat noisily.
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to eat like a pig
Little children usually eat like pigs.
To have to take back one's words; to admit one was wrong.
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to eat one's words
He was sure the road was open, but when we got there we found out it was closed. He had to eat his words.
To have it both eays; to have or do two things at the same time (espacially things that are impossible to have together).
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to have one's cake and eat it
You can't have a lot of money without working, it's simple; you can't have your cake and eat it.
To act weird, to be crazy.
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to be out to lunch
She has always been a little strange, but now she is completely out to lunch.
To have plenty of things to do.
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to have a lot on one's plate
also: to have a full plate
When you are the mother of six children you have a lot on your plate.
To be extremely angry with someone and want them to be punished for what they've done.
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to want someone's head on a plate
After this disaster people wanted prime minister's head on a plate.
To try to make someone like you or approve of you by being very nice to them.
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to suck up
Oh, please stop sucking up, I won't buy you this CD anyway.
Someone or something that it is very precious or dear to someone.
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the apple of one's eye
My brother is the apple of our father's eye.
An expression used to stress that fruits and vegetables are healthy and it's important to eat them.
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An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Please, eat this carrot, remember an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
To provide for one's family.
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to bring home the bacon
It's still unusual for women to bring home the bacon.
The basic needs of life.
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bread and butter
As a student I could hardly afford bread and butter.
A very clumsy person.
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No! You've dropped something again! You're such a butterfingers!
To be nice to someone in order to make them do something for you.
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to butter someone up
I know you want our teacher to give you an A, but you'd better stop buttering him up.
An expression meaning that someone looks as if they would never do anything wrong although you think they would.
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butter wouldn't melt in his / her mouth
Don't ask her out, I think butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, she's so cold.
Something very easy.
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piece of cake
This test was just a piece of cake.
Something that makes a good thing/situation even better.
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the icing on the cake
Money is not the most important in life, it's just the icing on the cake.
To be sold quickly and in large numbers.
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to sell like hot cakes
T-shirts with famous bands sell like hot cakes.
A very important person.
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big cheese
Look at this man, he's a big cheese in television.
Completly different.
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chalk and cheese
This couple is strange, they are like chalk and cheese.
A second chance/opportunity.
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another bite at the cherry
I decided to take another bite at the cherry and apply to the university once again.
To pick only the best things/people in the group.
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to cherry-pick
Some people think that election is just cherry-picking.
Another way to ask "How are you?", "What's up?".
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What's cooking?
Hello guys! What's cooking?
Very calm.
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as cool as a cucumber
To work here you must be as cool as cucumber.
A coward.
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cowardy custard
Come on! Don't be such a cowardy custard!
A person who is dishonest, behaves badly.
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bad egg
A black sheep in the family is not always a bad egg.
To encourage, urge or dare someone to do something.
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to egg sb on
He was always egged on at school.
To be embarrassed (usually after a failure or a faux pas).
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to have egg on one's face
It's not pleasant to have egg on your face.
One can't achieve something important without causing some unpleasant effects.
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You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.
In order to save this company we have to make some people redundant, but you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.
To make everything depend on only one thing.
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to put all your eggs in one basket
I told you not to pack all your clothes in one bag, now it's lost and you don't have anything to put on. Everybody know that it's not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket.
To be extremly cautious; to be careful not to do anything wrong.
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to walk on eggshells
When my mother has a headache all the family has to walk on eggshells.
Seeming dishonest or suspicious.
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If I were you I wouldn't buy that car. The deal seems fishy to me.
To cry over sth that has already happened and can't be fixed.
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to cry over spilt milk
There's no use crying over spilt milk, we should rather think of a new company.
Eager, enthusiastic.
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as keen as mustard
I knew I was good, so I was as keen as mustard to take part in a competition.
Crazy, insane.
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as nutty as a fruitcake
One has to be as nutty as a fruitcake to sell pork in Muslim countries.
To use much more force than is neaded; to take drastic measures to deal with a simple problem.
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to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut
Do you really have to go by car, it's just 2 km, don't use a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
To be experienced in a subject or know a lot about it.
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to know one's onions
He is a good software developer, he really knows his onions.
Very easy.
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as easy as pie
This task was as easy as a pie.
To be involved in many activities.
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to have a finger in every pie
He is a big cheese in this town, he has a finger in every pie.
Someone who spends most of their time sitting in front of tv.
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couch potato
To be a couch potato is not a healthy lifestyle.
A problem that is difficut to deal with.
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hot potato
This issue is a hot potato, nobody wants to address it.
In trouble.
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in the soup
Don't move or you'll be in the soup.
To make something more powerful.
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to soup up
Some cars are easy to soup up.
Something that we like doing or that we're good at doing.
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cup of tea
English is my cup of tea.
To hit someone/something repeatedly; to include a lot of something in a speach or writing.
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to pepper
The journalist peppered him with questions.
To make something more powerful or stronger.
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to beef sth up
This meal needs beefing up.

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