30 Tasty Food Idioms in English

Hello everyone,

Idioms are phrases that have a figurative meaning different from the literal meaning of the words.

Food idioms relate to different foods, dishes, and eating.

Learning these idioms can add some flavor to your English and help you understand their colorful meanings.

Let’s take a look at 30 common food idioms used in English:

Apple of my eye

Meaning: Someone or something very cherished or beloved

Example: Her children are the apples of her eye.


Bring home the bacon

Meaning: To earn the money that allows a family to live

Example: With both parents working, they can bring home the bacon.


Spill the beans

Meaning: To share a secret unintentionally

Example: I spilled the beans about the surprise party.


Cherry on top

Meaning: Something desirable added to make a good situation even better

Example: Getting that bonus was the cherry on top after a successful year.


Go bananas

Meaning: To become extremely excited or angry

Example: She went bananas when she saw the new video game.


In a pickle

Meaning: In a difficult situation

Example: I’m really in a pickle trying to finish this essay on time.


Piece of cake

Meaning: A task that is easy to do

Example: The math test was a piece of cake for her.


Chopped liver

Meaning: Something perceived as being of little importance or value

Example: To his boss, his ideas were just chopped liver.


Cool as a cucumber

Meaning: Very calm and relaxed

Example: She was cool as a cucumber during the big presentation.


Egg on

Meaning: To encourage someone to do something, often bad

Example: His friends egged him on to pull the prank.


Butter someone up

Meaning: To compliment someone insincerely to get something

Example: He tried to butter up his boss for a raise.


Full of beans

Meaning: To be lively and energetic

Example: The kids were full of beans after napping all day.


Couch potato

Meaning: A lazy person who sits around a lot

Example: During summer, he becomes a total couch potato.



Meaning: Exactly the same, without variation

Example: These houses all look so cookie-cutter.


Curiosity killed the cat

Meaning: Being inquisitive can lead to trouble

Example: Dad warned not to snoop, saying curiosity killed the cat.


Let’s peel the onion

Meaning: To investigate something thoroughly

Example: Let’s peel the onion and look at the analytics deeply.


Nuts about

Meaning: To be extremely enthusiastic or passionate about something

Example: She goes nuts about that boy band.


Lettuce turnip the beet

Meaning: Let’s leave now and go somewhere else

Example: It’s getting late, lettuce turnip the beet and go home.


Hot potato

Meaning: A controversial issue that is awkward to deal with

Example: Immigration reform is a political hot potato this year.


Use the salad tongs

Meaning: To approach a difficult task in a delicate manner

Example: We’ll need to use the salad tongs regarding her resignation.


Tough cookie

Meaning: A resilient person who is hard to influence

Example: My grandma is one tough cookie – nothing gets her down.


Take the biscuit

Meaning: To be the most objectionable or outrageous example

Example: His rudeness took the biscuit at the dinner party.


Cookie crumbles

Meaning: The way that things happen to turn out

Example: That’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.


Bun in the oven

Meaning: A woman is pregnant

Example: There’s a bun in the oven – I’m due in October!


Let’s plow ahead

Meaning: Let’s continue forward quickly

Example: Now that we’re prepared, let’s plow ahead with the project.



Meaning: An intellectual person, bookworm

Example: All those computer eggheads are coding a new app.


Over a barrel

Meaning: To be in a helpless position with no options

Example: We were caught over a barrel when the airline lost our luggage.


That’s gravy

Meaning: An additional benefit or profit

Example: Getting paid for overtime was just gravy on top of my salary.


Salt of the earth

Meaning: A very good, decent and reliable person

Example: My neighbor is the salt of the earth – always willing to help.


Bake a bigger pie

Meaning: To get more resources rather than divide up the same amount

Example: Instead of cutting funding, let’s bake a bigger pie to support schools.

Bon appétit! Hopefully exploring these 30 tasty English food idioms gives you more ingredients to spice up your conversations.

While their meanings may be confusing at first, keeping this lesson handy will help you digest their figurative definitions like a piece of cake!


Check out these awesome phrases & Idioms books I recommend:

Cambridge Idioms Dictionary

IDIOMS and PHRASES Anglo,Synonyms and Antonyms Anglo,One Word Substitution

Oxford Dictionary of Idioms

3000 Idioms and Phrases+ 3000 Proverbs 

Idioms for Kids

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