Food is such an integral part of our lives that it’s not surprising that certain phrases and expressions have also become part of our everyday language. The following are several fun food phrases and what they mean.
1. Cool as a Cucumber
The phrase, cool as a cucumber, generally refers to an individual who is calm and unaffected by stress or pressure. This saying was originally written in a poem by the British author, John Gay in 1732. But there’s also science behind this phrase. The inside of a cucumber is substantially cooler than the outside.
2. Use Your Noodle
If you use your noodle this basically means you’re using your brain and trying to think logically. In the English language the word noddle meant the back of a person’s head. This is likely related to nodding your head. The term, using your noodle, was therefore related to using your head.
3. Butter Up
This means to flatter someone or to say nice things in order to make them like you or agree with you. Since almost everything tastes better with lots of butter, it’s easy to see how this became a popular phrase.
4. Spill the Beans
Spilling the beans is when someone tells a secret. This phrase may have started in ancient Greece. When deciding a matter a vote was taken. Different colored beans would represent yes and no votes. You would therefore spill the beans to reveal your vote.
5. A Bad Egg
He’s a bad egg means that the person is not a good person. It may also refer to thinking someone is a good person, only to find out later he wasn’t, just like cracking open an egg to discover that it’s rotten. The term was used at least as far back as the 1850’s and was used in a novel written by Samuel Hammett.
6. That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles
This phrase basically means that’s just the way things are or whatever happens, happens. A similar phrase would be, that’s the way the ball bounces. This phrase is believed to have originated in the French Language, particularly from another phrase C’est la vie, which also means, such is life.
7. Don’t Cry over Split Milk
This particular phrase means that there’s no use getting upset over something that’s done and in the past. As far back as 1659, no crying over spilt milk was a British saying. It may also relate to the fact that feeding one’s family throughout most of history was difficult and wasting anything was frowned upon. But once the milk was spilled there was no use getting upset over it.
8. Bring Home the Bacon
You’re making money when you’re bringing home the bacon. The phrase is connected to Great Dunmow, a town in England where bacon was highly regarded. The phrase has also been attributed to a boxing match that took place in 1906. The night before Joe Gans was to fight, his mother sent him a telegram. Part of what was in that telegram included telling him to bring home the bacon.
9. Cake Walk
The saying, that’s a cake walk means something is extremely easy. Unfortunately, this phrase has its roots in slavery. Before the civil war, plantation owners would have slaves dress up and mimic the mannerisms and style of the aristocrats. The winner would win a decorated cake. The term, takes the cake, also came from this event.
10. The Big Cheese
This phrase refers to someone who is really important. At the beginning of the 19th century, the word cheese was often used when talking about something that was expensive or rated highly. Ironically, if the word big is taken away, something that is cheesy is usually thought to be corny, lame, or uncool.