Food Idioms 7
Make these 10 idioms part of your active vocabulary today.
Over-egg the pudding, Sour grapes, Throw into the pot, Bone to pick, On a silver platter, Think moon made of green cheese, Turn to jelly, Just deserts, Have cake and eat it, and Let stew.
After you have seen, heard, and read the idioms and their meanings, it will be time to activate them and make them part of your active vocabulary.
You can do this by using the Idioms Activator which I have designed to give you plenty of practice in listening, reading, and writing the idioms you have learnt in this Idiom Activation Pack.
Over-egg the pudding
To over-egg the pudding is to ruin what you are doing because you are trying too hard to make it better.
“A lot of movies these days over-egg the pudding by using far too many special effects at the expense of characterisation.”
“If I added too much information about each idiom in this Idioms Activation Pack, I would be in danger of over-egging the pudding.”
If you put too many eggs in a pudding, you may well ruin it rather than making it better.
When you pretend that you don’t really want something that you really do want, because you know that you can never have it, we say this is a case of sour grapes.
“When the office syndicate won a substantial amount of money on the lottery, the boss, who wasn’t in the syndicate, had a case of sour grapes and told everyone that he was glad he had not won as the money would just bring them misery.”
“A week ago, he was telling everyone how much he was looking forward to his expected promotion. Now that he has been passed over, he is telling us that he didn’t want the extra responsibility. I’m sure it’s just sour grapes.”
The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the fables of Aesop. In one fable, a fox was trying to eat some grapes just out of reach. Unable to reach the grapes, the fox announced that he didn’t really want them because they were probably sour anyway.
Throw into the pot
To add your proposal to the others being discussed in a meeting is to throw it into the pot.
“Having sat there for over an hour, I thought I ought to throw my idea into the pot.”
“The problem when so many people are throwing ideas into the pot is that it’s very hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.”
This idiom alludes to the practice of contributing something to a communal cooking pot.
Bone to pick
When you have a bone to pick with someone, you have a disagreement which you need to discuss with them, or you intend to argue with them.
“What have you done to upset Mary? She says she has a bone to pick with you.”
“I’m afraid I’ve got a bone to pick with you over the way you’ve been parking your car in my parking space over the last week.”
On a silver platter
When something is handed to you on a silver platter it is given to you without you having to make any effort to get it.
“No wonder the directorship was handed to him on a silver platter. His father owns the company.”
“If you expect me to hand the promotion to you on a silver platter just because you are my daughter, you are much mistaken. This company is a meritocracy.”
A platter is a large metal dish used for serving food.
Think moon made of green cheese
Somebody who thinks that the moon is made of green cheese is very gullible and will believe anything, no matter how outlandish.
“So, you honestly believe that the food companies have people’s best interests at heart? You probably also think that the moon is made of green cheese.”
“Anybody who really believes they have a chance of winning the lottery probably also believes that the moon is made of green cheese.”
This idiom dates from at least the early seventeenth century. The “green” in the idiom comes not from the colour but from its meaning as unripe.
Turn to jelly
If you are very nervous or frightened and your legs suddenly become weak and in danger of collapse, we say your legs have turned to jelly.
“During the fighting, the colonel appeared to be calm, but as soon as he got back to his tent his legs turned to jelly.”
“The first time I ever stood on stage I felt my legs turn to jelly and I struggled to say my lines as stage fright overcame me.”
Jelly is a soft, wobbly, sweet pudding made with gelatine and sugar.
When somebody receives a punishment or reward that everybody would consider justified, they receive their just deserts.
“When the movie mogul was exposed as a sex predator, most people thought he got his just deserts.”
“The businessman defrauded hundreds of his clients but got his just deserts when he was sent to prison.”
Desserts, the pudding, is spelt with a double S. This deserts is an old word meaning deserving of reward or punishment.
Have cake and eat it
When you cannot satisfy two contradictory desires, we say that you can’t have your cake and eat it.
“There’s no point going to the gym every day if you’re going to drink lots of beer and eat lots of junk food. You can’t have your cake and eat it.”
“Either knuckle down to your studies and get your degree, or treat university like a three-year party. The choice is yours, but you can’t have your cake and eat it.”
Once you eat your cake you no longer have it.
To let someone stew is to allow them to continue to feel guilty, anxious, or fearful, without trying to make them feel any better.
“Oh, just let him stew in his own juices for a while. It serves him right.”
“I think it’s unfair to let her stew when you yourself admit that it wasn’t her fault.”
Stew is a dish of meat and vegetables cooked slowly in a liquid.
The Idioms Activator has a bank of questions about the vocabulary in this Idioms Activation Pack.
Reading the vocabulary is passive learning.
Making the words and idioms part of your active vocabulary requires active learning, which is why I created the Idioms Activator.
Each time you do the Idioms Activator, you will be asked a series of random questions from a large bank of questions.
By actively engaging in the learning process and by receiving instant feedback on your performance, the vocabulary in this pack will quickly become part of your active vocabulary.
There is a good chance that some of the words used in this Activation Pack will be new to you.
To help you out, I have compiled an extensive dictionary of the vocabulary used in this Activation Pack.
The dictionary gives you the meanings of all the words used in this Activation Pack.
You can download the dictionary as a PDF document from the resources link at the top left of the Activation Pack.
In addition to the Idioms Activator, I have included a Vocabulary Activator which will test your knowledge of all of the words in the dictionary.
You will be given random definitions of words each time you do the Vocabulary Activator.
This will also give you the opportunity to hear how each word is correctly pronounced in British English.
Add these words to your active vocabulary and make them your own.
Idiom Activation Packs
These Idiom Activation Packs are designed to help you activate your English skills.
I have been helping students learn, remember, and use the all-important idiomatic expressions for many years and now I want to reach many more students by using the latest technology.
I have designed these Idiom Activation Packs to make learning British English idioms as easy and enjoyable as possible.
You can get unlimited access to my growing library of Activation Packs with a membership subscription.
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