Learning idioms is a great way to learn a language. Here at Bespeaking, we love teaching you new idioms and their origins, and this week we decided to focus on some food idioms.

Food is a part of everyday life, so it’s no wonder that food idioms are common in language. Here are some of our favorite food idioms in English.

Cool as a Cucumber

Someone who is cool as a cucumber does very well under pressure. They’re able to keep their head on straight (stay calm) and think clearly, rather than getting flustered (worked up, nervous, spazzy) and confused in high pressure situations. There are certain people that you want to be cool as cucumbers, such as a CEO, a police officer, or the leader of a country.

Since even in hot weather, cucumbers stay up to 20 degrees Celsius cooler on the inside, you can see clearly why we use this food idiom to describe calm people in stressful situations.

For example:

  • The meeting was tense, but she stayed cool as a cucumber and was able to secure (confirm, close the deal on) the merger.
  • It took him a long time to learn how to be cool as a cucumber, but now he always does well when it comes to the last minutes of the tennis match.

A Piece of Cake

Have you ever had a task that’s very easy for you? Then you have had a task that was a piece of cake. Something that is a piece of cake may not always be as enjoyable as eating a piece of cake, but it’s a great food idiom to use in your everyday life.

The origin of this food idiom comes from the days when pieces of cake were given as prizes for competitions!

For example:

  • “Would you mind showing me how to start the WebEx meetings?” “Sure, it’s a piece of cake!”
  • My boss gave me some new responsibilities. I thought they would be difficult, but they’re actually a piece of cake.

Bread and Butter

Think of your job. Are there things that are essential to your company? Things that make your company the most money? These essential money makers are called the bread and butter, as bread and butter are considered two essential types of food.

For example:

  • Gardening is my bread and butter in the summer. It’s how I make the most money during those months.
  • Teaching English in companies is our bread and butter. It’s the most essential part of our business.

Not my Cup of Tea

Just like there may be something you really like- your favorite flavor of tea, or something you prefer over other things- there is probably also something that you don’t really like. You may not hate it, but for some reason, you just don’t love it. If that’s the case, that thing is not your cup of tea.

For example, there was a long time where I didn’t like olives. I would eat them if they were in a salad to be polite, but I wouldn’t eat olives on their own. They just weren’t my cup of tea. Is there something that’s not your cup of tea?

For example:

  • He’s ok. I just don’t like him so much. He’s not really my cup of tea.
  • She doesn’t like to eat fish. It’s not her cup of tea.

Bring Home the Bacon

Doesn’t it feel great to get paid at the end of the month? It’s nice when you feel you are being rewarded for your hard work. When you get paid, you’re bringing home the bacon.

This idiom comes from when bacon was very expensive, and whoever made money in the family was able to buy bacon after getting paid.

For example:

  • I was out of work for so long, it’s nice to finally bring home the bacon with my new job.
  • “Who brings home the bacon in your house?” “We both do!”

Are there some food idioms that you know that we missed? Which one is your favorite? Share them with us in the comments below!

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Check out these other popular blogs: Dating Vocabulary in EnglishWhy You Could Use a Bespeaking ProofreaderItalian Loan Words in English, or these 5 Great Antonyms in English!

Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and was serious about the olives; she had to talk herself into liking them! Black olives are still a no-go, though.

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