Food is a wonderful discovery of mankind. It satisfies once tummy, mind, and heart. Food has been with us ever since the beginning of the world. It evolved from one thing to another and influenced our way of life even our language. An example of this is the existence of English food idioms.

An idiom is a word or group of words combined to create a figurative meaning. It has been popular in poems, articles, and speeches. It gives color and dimension to our language.

To impart this part of the evolution of food, here are 20 English food idioms and its meanings.

as cool as a cucumber

english food idioms

Cucumber is a gourd and it is good for your skin-care routine because of its cooling effect. An idiom had been created as a result of this idea. Henceforth, this idiom “as cool as a cucumber” means being relaxed or calm in a certain situation.


The artist was as cool as a cucumber when the paparazzi followed him from the venue to his house. 

not my cup of tea

There are different of teacups. We have plastic teacups, ceramic, and porcelain teacups. Nonetheless, being not interested simply not be your cup of tea.


Beaches are beautiful however it is not my cup of tea because it’s sandy and hot. 

don’t put all your eggs in one basket

It’s easier and safer to put all your eggs in one basket. Nonetheless, when it is an idiom it is something about spreading the risks.


In doing investments, don’t put all your eggs in one basket to avoid going bankrupt and lose all of your money.

take something with a pinch of salt

Salt is an essential ingredient in cooking food. But, taking something with a pinch of salt it means to not believe immediately that someone is telling the truth.

My mother always takes it with a pinch of salt when talking to my neighbor because of his past experience with her. 

a bad egg

It’s good to eat a bad egg because of poisoning and other complications. in English food idioms it connotes that someone is often in trouble and is not to be trusted at all times.


My mum says that John Smith is a bad egg and she doesn’t want me to be his friend. She says he’ll get me in trouble.

the apple of my eye

Apple is a staple fruit all around the world. That is the reason why the idiom “the apple of my eye” means someone is being loved and adored.


My children are the apples of my eye. I love them so much. 


Some people love cheese on their pizza, pasta, or even their main course. You describe the above mentioned as cheesy. However, when it is used as cheesy, it pertains to someone or something tacky and/or without a style.

I watched a movie yesterday. It was all cheesy. I cringed the entire time while watching each and every scene. 

to butter someone up

Butter is good for your toast because of its aroma and most especially with its taste. When [butter] it will be used as an idiom, it is associated butter has been associated with the idiom to butter someone up is to be nice to someone in order to get what you want.


She is the type of person who everyone dislikes. But when they knew about how rich her family is, they started buttering her up. 

in a nutshell

A nutshell is small and strong but when it is used as an idiom it becomes “to summarize.”

She’s smart, intelligent, and sexy; in a nutshell, she is an ideal girl.

Gravy train

Without a gravy, our fried chicken experience will never be complete. It’s everyone’s favorite. However, the gravy train connotes the opposite them of the gravy. Gravy train talks about a job without being paid fairly.


Some public school is teachers are contented with their gravy train salary despite having strenuous jobs.

Have your cake and eat it

Almost all people love to eat cake. Well, who cannot say no to this pretty and delectable dessert, right? Nonetheless, when someone told you this English food idiom, it simply means that you want more than you can handle/deserve.


 The cook passed out in the kitchen because of exhaustion.  He always has his cake and eats it. He does not know how to delegate the tasks. 

Piece of cake

We strive to have a bite of good food. We want to have a piece of it—–cake.  If your friend says that learning English is a piece of cake for them, it means that they find it very easy to do.


My brother is so smart. Calculus for him is just a piece of cake. 

Bun in the oven

Bun has a bump so it is somewhat related to the idiom “bun in the oven” because it simply defines as a pregnant person.


My brother and my sister-in-law have a bun in the oven finally!

Cheap as chips

Potatoes, salt, and pepper are the ingredients to make chips. It is minimal and cheap. Furthermore, English food idiom “cheap as chips” is associated with chips because they possess one quality and that is being cheap.


I bought so many dresses when I went to Bangkok last month. The country offers so many cheap as chips items. 

Smart cookie

English food idioms

Cookies are sweet and fudgy or chewy but when you are smart cooking you are not and but being a smart cookie, you are a very intelligent person.


Albert Einstein has an I.Q. of 120. He is really a smart cookie. 

Spill the beans

If your friend has some gossip and you really want to know, you might say to them “spill the beans”, which means reveal secret information.


My officemates really want to spill the beans about the upcoming plans of the company.