Food Idioms 8
Idioms Activation Pack
Make these 10 food idioms and 122 words part of your active vocabulary.
- Biting cold
- A banana republic
- Bitter and twisted
- Head on plate
- Rotten egg
- Sow your oats
- On thin ice
- Wolf down
- Melt in mouth
When it is so cold that it is painfully cold, we say that it is biting cold.
“Thankfully, since moving to Spain, I have never once felt the biting cold of an English winter.”
“I don’t know how the people of Siberia can tolerate the biting cold of a Siberian winter.”
We also hear of a biting wind.
A banana republic
A country reliant on a very narrow economic base while weakened by endemic corruption and poor government is known as a banana republic.
“Britain is in danger of becoming little more than a banana republic if it goes ahead with its plans for Brexit.”
“If the economy continues to stagnate, this country could end up as a banana republic.”
Originally, a banana republic was so called because it was a state whose economy was entirely dependent on banana exports. Such countries were generally in central America.
Bitter and twisted
Somebody who carries with them anger and resentment for something that happened to them in the past is said to be bitter and twisted.
“Twenty years of being passed over for promotion has left her bitter and twisted.”
“Many of the things my ex-wife did could well have left me bitter and twisted, but I prefer to have a more positive and optimistic outlook on life.”
Head on plate
To say that you want to punish someone harshly and severely is to say that you want their head on a plate.
“If you go ahead with your plans for independence, central government will have your head on a plate.”
“When I discover who leaked the information to the press, I’ll have their head on a plate.”
This idiom is also heard as: Head on a platter.
A despicable person who is a bad influence on those around them is a rotten egg.
“I always thought I could trust him, but he turned out to be a rotten egg.”
“Convicted of three counts of theft of money from the charity where she worked, the mother of three was shown to be a rotten egg.”
A variant of this idiom is: Bad egg.
Sow your oats
A young man who lives life to the full, engaging in numerous sexual conquests and generally doing many exciting and reckless things is said to be sowing his oats.
“I have to admit that I sowed my oats more than most as a younger man, but I don’t regret a moment of it.”
“The three of them were out sowing their oats last night and find themselves in prison cells this morning.”
Also heard as sow your wild oats.
On thin ice
To be in a very risky or precarious situation with very little support is to be on thin ice.
“If you accuse them of cooking the books, you’re going to find yourself on very thin ice. I mean, where’s your evidence?”
“The Prime Minister found himself skating on thin ice when details of his expense claims were made public.”
This idiom comes from the danger that comes from standing on thin ice, as it can suddenly break.
To eat something extremely quickly and completely, as a ravenous animal might, is to wolf it down.
“It’s nice to see you’ve got an appetite, but it might be less alarming to the others at the table if you didn’t wolf your food down.”
“I’ve never seen anyone wolf down three cheeseburgers in under a minute, I have to say.”
Melt in mouth
Meat which is very tender, or food which is mouth-wateringly delicious, is said to melt in your mouth.
“A good Iberian ham will quite literally melt in your mouth.”
“He really knows how to age a steak and cook it so that it melts in your mouth.”
Something you buy which turns out to have defects, problems, or does not work well, is known as a lemon.
“This car has been to the garage four times since I bought it and I’m beginning to suspect it’s a lemon.”
“If I was you, I’d ask the dealership for my money back. That car is obviously a lemon.”
This idiom is usually used for vehicles such as cars or motorcycles.
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 Pay What You Want for each pack or you can get unlimited access to my growing library of Activation Packs with a membership subscription.
Become a Britlisher!
Sign Up Today for Your Free Welcome Pack of English Learning Material
Sign up as our 2,566th Britlisher and all of this FREE material will be yours:
- Free Pronunciation Activation Pack – To see how you can quickly improve your pronunciation
- Irregular English Verbs Activator – Activate 170 Irregular English Verbs
- The Pig – Poem to help you with the rhythm of English
- Daffodils – A poem to help you with the rhythm of English
- Sheeple – Exclusive Britlish Material to help you learn vocabulary
- Down in the Dumps – A comic to help learn some idioms
- A Child’s History of England Part 1 – Listen to Richard reading Chapter 1
- A Child’s History of England Part 2 – Listen to Richard reading Chapter 2
- Level Tests – 5 Flash-based level tests to test your level of English from A1 Elementary to C2 Proficient
- Up To – Study pack to go with the video English lesson
- On – Study pack to go with the video English lesson
- Under – Study pack to go with the video English lesson
- Farm Animals – Study pack to go with the video English lesson
- Much Choice Many Choices – Study pack to go with the video English lesson
- Fuzzy the Bear – Study pack to go with the video English lesson
- How to Be Happy – A Flash-based exercise in happiness
Britlishers also receive the Britlish Newsletter with news about new innovative English material posted every week on Britlish.