Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Use Your Noodle: Food Idioms, Part 1

While I was watching television the other day, I heard someone say that they were "cheesed off" about something. This got me thinking about all of the strange food-related idioms that exist in English. Not only are they incredibly confusing for non-native speakers in the process of learning English, but they can also be confusing for native speakers who may never have encountered that particular idiom before. That's why we're going to dedicate the next couple of posts to some of these weird food idioms, starting with all the ingredients you need for a delicious sandwich: cheese, bacon, egg, and bread!

The McGriddle, one of the world's most famous
bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches.
Cheese Idioms

cheesed off - annoyed/frustrated/irritated ("I'm cheesed off that my laptop battery just died.")

the big cheese - an important person/the boss ("The big cheese wants the quarterly reports on his desk in an hour.")

Cheese it! - Run away! ("The cops are coming, cheese it!")

to cut the cheese - pass gas/fart ("Who cut the cheese?")

Bacon Idioms

to save someone's bacon - to help someone/prevent something bad from happening to them ("You really saved my bacon by filing that report for me!)

to bring home the bacon - to earn a living to support your family ("Once I get a job, I'll be bringing home the bacon.")

Egg Idioms

a bad egg - a bad/untrustworthy person ("Susan is a bad egg... she's always getting into trouble!")

a good egg - a good/trustworthy person ("Bob is a good egg... he's always there for you when you need a friend.")

to egg someone on - to encourage someone to do something, often something foolish ("Stop egging him on, he'll end up getting hurt if he keeps climbing higher up the tree!")

A cute, yet ferocious kitten.
to have all your eggs in one basket - to depend on a single plan, usually in terms of income ("She has all of her eggs in one basket... she invested all of her savings in one tech stock, so if it plummets she'll have nothing left.")

to have egg on your face - to make yourself look foolish/embarrass yourself ("Peter has egg on his face after emailing his boss a kitten photo instead of the quarterly report.")

to walk on eggshells - to very carefully handle a situation ("Peter has been walking on eggshells with his boss ever since he sent that kitten photo.")

Bread Idioms

bread and butter - something that is central to your business or basic needs ("Translation work is my bread and butter, but I also provide editing services.)

a breadwinner - the main person who brings home the bacon ("I'm the family's breadwinner since I earn much more than my spouse.")

the greatest thing since sliced bread - a recent invention that has improved people's lives ("The internet is the greatest thing since sliced bread!")

Check back on Friday for even more crazy food idioms, including use your noodle!

Part 1 | Part 2