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20 Cooking and food idioms


20 Cooking and food idioms

Even beginners are faced with idioms if they travel to an English speaking country for a holiday. That’s why it’s important to include idioms in all levels of language courses.

There are an incredible number of idioms that use food and cooking to describe people, feelings or situations. How many have you used in the last couple of days in your native language?

  • Write a story that uses at least eight of them.
  • With a conversation partner or a group, describe a situation in your past where you could apply each idiom.
  • In which area of the English-speaking world did these idioms start being widely used?
  • What other food-related idioms do you know? Go hunting on the internet to find a few more.
  1. to acquire a taste for something – start to like something.
  2. bad apple or bad egg – a bad person.
  3. big cheese or big enchilada – someone who is very important.
  4. a bitter pill to swallow – something that must be accepted, but is hard to accept.
  5. to butter someone up – to flatter someone so you can get something.
  6. to cheese off someone – to make someone annoyed or angry.
  7. to chew the fat with someone – to chat with someone.
  8. to cook someone’s goose – to destroy or damage someone (reputation).
  9. to cook with grease or cook with gas – working very efficiently.
  10. to cut the mustard – to succeed.
  11. to eat crow – to admit you made a mistake.
  12. to egg on someone – to encourage someone to do something stupid.
  13. for peanuts – do something for very little money or reward.
  14. a gravy train – a job that pays more than it should.
  15. a hot potato – a topic that is controversial and hard to settle.
  16. he is out to lunch – someone who is crazy and uninformed.
  17. pie in the sky – a dream that probably won’t happen.
  18. salt of the earth – ordinary nice people.
  19. to stir the pot – intentionally raise tension and emotion.
  20. to sugarcoat something – to make something that is unpleasant seem more pleasant.

Categories | VOCABULARY
Tags | language learning, vocabulary, idioms
12 Apr 2013