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Examples of Food Idioms

An idiom is a group of words that, in common usage, has a different meaning than the literal meaning of the individual words. Food idioms are idioms that include words about food or eating.

Food Idioms: Examples and Explanations

  • Apple of his eye – A favorite
  • As busy as popcorn on a skillet – Very active
  • As easy as apple pie – Something simple
  • As flat as a pancake – Very flat
  • As hungry as a bear – Very hungry
  • As nutty as a fruitcake – Crazy
  • As slow as molasses in January – Very slow
  • As sour as vinegar – Disagreeable
  • As sweet as honey – Very sweet
  • As thick as pea soup – Very thick
  • As warm as toast – Very warm
  • Bad apple – Bad person
  • Bad egg – Bad person
  • Bear fruit – Get results
  • Big cheese – Important person
  • Big enchilada – Important thing or person
  • Bite off more than you can chew – Try to do more than you can handle
  • Bite the hand that feeds you – Act badly to someone who helps you
  • Bitter pill to swallow – Hard to take
  • Bottom of the food chain – Having the least power or influence
  • Bread and butter – Basic needs
  • Bring home the bacon – Earn a living
  • Butter up – Flatter someone to get something
  • Buy a lemon – Buy something worthless
  • Chew the fat – Talk
  • Coffee break – A break from work to eat or drink
  • Compare apples and oranges – Compare things that are very different
  • Cook his goose – Damage or affect negatively
  • Cook up a storm – Cook a large quantity
  • Cool as a cucumber – Doesn’t get easily upset
  • Couch potato – Someone who watches a lot of TV
  • Cream of the crop – The best
  • Cream puff – Someone easy to overwhelm or beat out
  • Cut the mustard – Do what is necessary
  • Cry over spilt milk – Worry about something in the past
  • Drop like a hot potato – To immediately stop
  • Eat crow – Admit a mistake
  • Eat dirt – Be humble
  • Eat high on the hog – Eat fine food
  • Eat humble pie – To apologize
  • Eat like a bird – Eat a small amount
  • Eat like a horse – Eat a lot
  • Eat one’s heart out – To be jealous
  • Eat out – Dine in a restaurant
  • Eat out of her hands – Do what she wants
  • Eat us out of house and home – Eat a lot
  • Eat your words – Take back words
  • Egg on – Urge someone
  • Either feast or famine – Either too much or not enough
  • Everything from soup to nuts – A wide variety of items
  • Fat is in the fire – Big problem
  • Fine kettle of fish – A mess
  • Finger in the pie – Participating
  • Food for thought – Something to think about
  • Forbidden fruit – Something banned
  • For peanuts – Inexpensive
  • Full of beans – Feel energetic
  • Go bananas – Excited or crazy
  • Goose is cooked – Finished or in trouble
  • Gravy train – Well-paying job
  • Greatest thing since sliced bread – Something that is excellent
  • Half a loaf is better than none – Something is better than nothing
  • Half-baked – Not thought through
  • Hand to someone on a silver platter – Cater to someone
  • Hard nut to crack – Difficult person
  • Have a lot on one’s plate – Very busy
  • Have a sweet tooth – Like sweet foods
  • Have bigger fish to fry – Have more important things to do
  • Have egg on your face – Be embarrassed
  • Have one’s cake and eat it too – Having something both ways
  • In a nutshell – In summary
  • In a pickle – In trouble
  • Life is a bowl of cherries – Life is good
  • Like taking candy from a baby – Easy to do
  • Like two peas in a pod – Very similar
  • Low hanging fruit – Easy to get or do
  • Meat and potatoes – Basics, simple food
  • Melt in one’s mouth – Delicious
  • Not for all the tea in China – Not for any price
  • Not my cup of tea – Not to my liking
  • Not know beans about – Unfamiliar or ignorant
  • Not worth a hill of beans – Not valuable
  • Nutty as a fruitcake – Crazy
  • Packed in like sardines – Crowded
  • Piece of cake – Easy
  • Pie in the sky – A dream
  • Rotten to the core – Very bad
  • Salt of the Earth – Ordinary people
  • Sell like hotcakes – Sell a lot
  • Slice of the pie – A share of something
  • Small potatoes – Unimportant
  • Spill the beans – Tell a secret
  • Stick to your ribs – Last a long time
  • Sugarcoat – Gloss over bad information
  • Take with a grain of salt – Don’t take something seriously
  • That’s the way the cookie crumbles – Things happen
  • There is no such thing as a free lunch – Can’t get something for nothing
  • Top banana – Leader
  • Variety is the spice of life – Differences give life interest
  • Walk on eggshells – Be cautious
  • Whole enchilada – Entire thing
  • Worm food – Dead and buried
  • Worth your salt – Worthwhile

To see more idioms, check out these idiom examples.


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