Food Idioms

Vocabulary and listening activity 

How to Be a Good Egg and the Salt of the Earth

1.Match the idioms and their meanings in the chart below. Then, listen to the audio ”Words and their Stories from VOA”  and check your work.


1)There is no use crying over spilled milk
A)someone good and honest
2)To be a good egg
B)do not believe everything you hear
3)To walk on eggshells
C)a good diet is important for good health
4)You have to break some eggs to make an omelet
D)to make someone feel worse about something that was already a painful experience
5)You are what you eat
E)to be careful about what we say or do
6)Meat and potatoes
F)to do what is necessary to move forward.
7)One man’s meat is another man’s poison 
G)to be out of touch and usually not know what is going on in the office.
8)The salt of the earth
H)you should not get angry when something bad happens and cannot be changed
9)To pour salt on a wound
I)I don’t like it
10)To take it with a grain of salt
J)to do what is expected of you
11)To bring home the bacon
K)something that may appear to be free of charge, but may be a hidden cost.

12)To cut the mustard
L)one person might like something very much while another person might hate the same thing
13)A tall drink of water
M)to pay more attention and fix a problem
14)To be packed like sardines
N)someone tall
15)To be out to lunch
O)something to think about
16)There is no such thing as a free lunch
P)to help anyone in need
17)To wake up and smell the coffee
Q)to make enough money to support a family
18)To have egg on your face
R)to be in a very crowded place
19)It is not my cup of tea
S)the most important part of something
20)Food for thought 
T)to make a big mistake and feel foolish

1:        2:        3:        4:        5:        6:        7:        8:        9:        10:
11:      12:      13:      14:      15:      16:      17:      18:      19:      20:

More Edible Language:

Edible (adj) : food that one can eat. Something fit to be eaten.

2.Here are more idiomatic expressions related to food and eating. Go over the list and do the exercise that follows.

Big cheese :  an important person, a leader

Bite off more than one can chew : to try to do or eat more than you can.

Bite the hand that feeds you : to harm someone who is good to you.

My bread and butter  : income or livelihood.

Butter (someone) up : to flatter someone in order to get his or her favor.

Chew the fat  : to chat.

Cool as a cucumber : calm

Couch potato :  someone who spends a lot of time on a couch watching TV.

Drop (someone/something) like a hot potato: to stop being involved with someone or something.

Eat humble pie : to admit your mistake and apologize for it.

Eat like a bird : to eat only a small amount of food

Eat like a horse : to eat a large amount of food

Eat (someone) for breakfast : to defeat someone easily

Go bananas : to become or behave crazy.

Hard nut to crack : a difficult person or thing.

Have a lot on one's plate : to be busy with many different activities.

Have a sweet tooth : to have a preference for sweet foods

Have bigger fish to fry : to have more important things to do

Have your cake and eat it too : to be lucky, to have something both ways.

Icing on the cake :  something that makes a good situation even better.

In a nutshell : briefly, in a few words.

In a pickle : in trouble, in a messy situation.

Lemon : something defective or unsatisfactory.

Out of the frying pan into the fire :  from a bad situation to a worse one.

Piece of cake: something easy

Rotten apple : a bad person

Sugarcoat (something) : to make something unpleasant seem ok, to coat something with sugar.

That's the way the cookie crumbles : that's life, these kinds of things happen.

Too many cooks spoil the soup/ stew : a proverb meaning that too many people can spoil something

Wine and dine (someone) : to treat someone to an expensive meal.

EXERCISE: Complete the following sentences with an idiom from the list above.

1.The car I got was not a bargain. In fact, it turned out to be a ....
2.I took an extra class this semester and now realize I am ....  It’s just too much.
3.I .... this weekend and I don’t have time to meet.
4.We met with my friends for coffee to .... about our lives.
5.I saw John the other day. He’s so changed now. Remember he used to be a bit bohemian? Well now he is a .... in a global corporation.
6.I .... and I do not want to waste time with insignificant matters.
7.My friend is such a ....; he never wants to leave his house.
8.The movie producer ... the star .... when she became involved in a scandal.
9.I had to .... after I made  a mess with the project.
10.I really wanted to get the scholarship but well, ....
11.She’s not very sociable and seems always so very serious. I think she must be a .....
12.Model girls .... and are very slim.
13.He doesn’t  want to give up hanging out with friends and his wife is furious. He ....
14.This is my year and the new job seems like the ....
15.Did you .... when your best friend forgot your birthday?
16.On weekends I usually .... after eating and run all week.
17.I can’t help my boss right now. I do not want to .... me but I’m super busy.
18.The lawyers tried to .... the incident but nobody was happy with it.
19.I have .... for chocolate.
20.That's ..... I can do it without even trying.  
21.I think your boss can tell when you are trying to .... so that you don’t have to work this weekend.
22.At the meeting they told us .... about the plans for the new department.
23.Several people tried to manage the project, and it didn't turned out well. .... 
24.MaryAnne was .... when she left the car keys inside the car.
25.My uncle often has to .... his important business clients.
26.I don't especially like driving a taxi, but it's ....
27.His situation is bad enough, but if he quits he'll ....
28.Even in the pressure of the competition, he remained ....
29.The team could .... their rivals .... last Friday. It was an easy victory.
30.Some people think that Alice is .... in her group but she’s not so bad.

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