14 ENGLISH IDIOMS & SAYINGS from food & drink

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Learn English with Gill (engVid)
Published at : 27 Nov 2020
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In this lesson I'll introduce you to 14 different English idioms using metaphors from food and drink. Idioms are words or phrases that mean something you might not expect from the words' normal meaning. For example, if something is "fishy", it means that it is suspicious. I will teach you the meaning of "which side your bread is buttered", "nice as pie", "gravy train", "not my cup of tea", "crying over spilt milk", and more. Native English speakers use these expressions regularly in conversation. So to get your "share of the cake", watch this lesson, do the quiz at http://www.engvid.com/14-english-idioms-sayings-food-drink/ , and improve your understanding of everyday informal speech!

TRANSCRIPT

Hello. I'm Gill at engVid, and today's lesson is on idioms and sayings which are based on references to food and drink. Okay? So, these are sayings that are sort of metaphorical, meaning they're not literally true, but they mean something in a different kind of context. So, you'll see what I mean when we look at the examples. Okay?

So, the first one is this, which is actually true literally, as well as metaphorically perhaps, but it's: "There's no point crying over spilt milk." So, if you spill... "To spill". If you drop the milk and it goes all over the floor, you've lost it; you can't use it, and milk is... Well, milk costs money; it's inconvenient to lose some milk when you need it for your... To put in your coffee or whatever. So, if you spill some milk, it's... You know, I... if it happens to me, I feel annoyed and upset because I've wasted some milk which I needed, really, and you have to then go out and buy some more. And it makes a mess; you have to clean it up. If you don't clean it up properly, it goes bad and it starts to smell. So, there are all those things to think about. So...

But then this saying is: "There's no point crying over spilt milk." The idea is once it's spilt, you can't do anything about it - that's it, you just have to get on, clean it up, carry on, go and buy some more or do without it; don't bother getting any more, have your... Drink your tea without any milk in it - whatever it is. So, this is what people say sometimes if someone's complaining and they're upset about something, people say that just to say: "Well, there's no point being upset about it. That doesn't achieve anything. You've just got to move on and be positive; carry on and don't just be negative all the time, saying: 'Oh, dear. Oh, dear, isn't this terrible?'" The main thing is to do something positive about it, and not just cry... Crying when you spill the milk. There's no point. Okay, that's that one.

Then the next one, if you say: "That's not my cup of tea" or "That's not really my cup of tea", it doesn't mean literally: "That's not my cup of tea; that's somebody else's cup of tea." What it means is that's not my taste. Okay. If somebody invites you to go to a film at the cinema, and maybe it's a horror film, and if you don't really like horror films, you probably don't want to go. So, you say: "Oh, that's a horror film, isn't it? That's not really my cup of tea. I don't think so. Tell me when there's a different kind of film on, and I might go to that with you, but horror film - no, not my cup of tea." So it's just a saying that we have. "It's not my cup of tea. It's not my taste; I don't enjoy that sort of thing." Okay. Right.

So, next one, if someone is on the gravy train... If someone said: "Oh, she's on the gravy train", it may be that someone has got a job, or maybe it's like a politician sometimes - they get the kind of job where they earn a lot of money, they have the opportunity to go out for meals in restaurants quite a lot, and it's all paid for on their work expenses and so on. So, if you're on the gravy train... The "gravy" is the kind of sauce that you put on your food. In English cooking, it's a kind of brown sauce; it could have beef flavour in it or chicken flavour, but it's hot liquid, quite thick. It's a bit like a soup, and you pour it on your meal with... If you have a meat and vegetable meal, you can pour gravy onto it to give you a kind of sauce to add to your food. So, it's the idea of sort of rich food and something nice to eat. So, if someone is on the gravy train, it means they're in a position where they can have a really nice time and lots of nice things to eat, and generally not have to worry about money and so on. So, that's that one.

Okay, next one: "He knows which side his bread is buttered." Okay. So, if you think of a slice of bread... There's a slice of bread. And if you put butter on your bread... You... I think you only put it on one side usually, don't you? If you put butter on both sides, it would get very messy because you'd be putting the butter down onto the plate, it would stick to the plate - you know, not a good idea. So, usually you put butter on one side of your bread, there. […]
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