HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


Food words and expressions in general use -list

Let's start

Sage advice.
Too many cooks spoil the stew
Apple of my eye

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Flat as a pancake
    Finger lickin' good
    Tequila makes her clothes fall off (goes with the previous)

    1 Reply
    1. re: BiscuitBoy

      Don't count your chickens before they hatch

    2. Don't cry over spilled milk.
      A watched pot never boils.
      Soup's on!
      Belly up to the bar.

      2 Replies
      1. re: melpy

        In Indonesia, there's "nasi sudah menjadi bubur," which means "the rice has already become porridge." In other words, no use crying over spilled milk.

        1. re: melpy

          Old English expression- "A watched pot never boils"

          Old Russian expression- "Watched pot never boils over"

        2. I don't think "sage advice" has anything to do with the herb. It refers to a wise person, a sage.

          1. "who put pepper on your ass?"

            1. walking through waikiki, looking at the sunburned tourists, im often reminded of the expression: red as a (boiled) lobster.

              1. My personal favourite: you've over egged the pudding.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Paprikaboy

                  color me dense - i don't understand it, perhaps im over-egged myself.

                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    KM, It must be a very English idiom and as I've grown up with it, its quite hard for me to define. it;s similar to gilding the lily, over embellishing a story, making things more complicated or difficult in order to impress but not quite pulling it off,when a simpler solution would be better. It's all these but not quite.

                  1. re: suzigirl

                    "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

                  2. He/she's gone bananas !

                    You're toast !

                    Spammed (web/email)

                    Lickity split

                    Shut your piehole !

                    1. He/she is a good egg
                      Bring home the bacon
                      Slow as molasses
                      Salt and pepper hair
                      American as apple pie
                      Piece of cake
                      Big cheese
                      Ain't no thing but a chicken wing
                      All that and a bag of chips

                      I think the last two give away the fact that I was a '90s kid :)

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: needcoffee

                        American as apple pie made me think of other nationalities that have food specifically associated with them:

                        Limeys: English
                        Kiwis: New Zealanders
                        Frogs: French (although thats pushing the 'food' association)
                        Rice Eater: Asian in general, often derogatorily

                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                          Huh! How could you possibly forget Krauts??!! '-D

                          1. re: linguafood

                            lol yeah. Krauts is a classic.

                            also, there are many good/funny food and beer proverbs in German. Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei. :D

                          2. re: KaimukiMan

                            The French have long called us English Rosbifs of course though they may have to start calling us frogs if this story is anything to go by.


                        2. Easy as pie
                          Takes the cake
                          Who p--d in your Cheerios?
                          Muffin top
                          Like white on rice
                          Beer goggles
                          Butter face

                          This is fun

                          1. The world is your oyster
                            Happy as a clam
                            Cooked goose
                            Humble pie
                            Egg on your face
                            One bad apple spoils the barrel
                            Sour grapes
                            Pie in the sky
                            Have your cake and eat it too

                            1. boiling mad
                              cool as a cuccumber
                              when life gives you lemons
                              stick a fork in it

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: girloftheworld

                                Easy peasy

                                Cut the cheese


                                Like a hot knife through butter


                              2. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

                                1. That's the way the cookie crumbles.
                                  Let them eat cake.
                                  Let's make like jelly and jam.
                                  That's like rubbing salt in his wounds.

                                  1. Crude, I know: "It'll make a turd"

                                    1. Not worth a hill of beans.

                                      1. They're liked fried eggs.
                                        Buns of steel

                                        1. picklepuss
                                          elbow grease
                                          hot tomato
                                          eye candy
                                          don't get yourself in a pickle
                                          popsicle toes

                                          1. She is tougher than a two dollar steak.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. "Well, kiss my grits !"

                                              Someone said that on an oldie TV show. Was it Flo on "Alice" ?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. Don't care a fig

                                                sweet nothings

                                                Catching more flies with honey than you do with vinegar

                                                Hitting the sauce
                                                Getting stewed

                                                saccharine smiles

                                                hamming it up (with corny jokes!)

                                                  1. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

                                                    As cool as a cucumber.

                                                    Man does not live by bread alone.

                                                    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

                                                    Three hots and a cot.

                                                    Pie in the sky.


                                                    Nectar of the gods.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: LotusRapper

                                                      Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

                                                      1. re: LotusRapper

                                                        I also like the new version: Teach a man to fish and he sits in a boat and drinks beer all day.

                                                      2. You can't have your cake and eat it, too.

                                                        Which is actually, "You can't eat your cake and have it, too"

                                                        Think about it. Yes, you can have it and then eat it. Some or all of it.

                                                        Whereas once you eat it, having it is impossible. And even then, you could eat it and have it, if you ate only part of it.

                                                        When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time over-thinking these aphorisms. My mindset always was "why not? does that mank any sense at all?" Taught myself to challenge the conventional wisdom.

                                                        1. talking turkey

                                                          "Everything beyond that is gravy."

                                                          a bubbly personality

                                                          like walking in molasses

                                                          carping on a subject

                                                          stewing in your anger

                                                          out of the frying pan, into the fire

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. The pot calling the kettle black.

                                                            1. Baseball expression, a can of corn. Also, a piece of cake.

                                                                  1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                    LOL--even as I typed mine, I was chuckling..."not that I would know personally...."

                                                                    1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                      In Canada, that is called a "Molson muscle" after an old beer company.

                                                                  2. and the ever popular, "I'd make tea with her panties"

                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                        1. re: seamunky

                                                                          I remember my English roommate at university using this one back in 1975. But then the ratio was 18 guys to every gal.

                                                                        2. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                          The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese!

                                                                          Sweetie pie (anyone have a recipe?)

                                                                          Like peas in a pod

                                                                                  1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                    maybe on fire island or provincetown, my friend, but not here

                                                                              1. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

                                                                                1. Butter my ass and call me a biscuit!

                                                                                  1. "Just because your cat has her kittens in the oven don't make 'em biscuits!"

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                                        Biscuit Boy, oh man, is Ron White ever funny. He's the only genuine redneck comedian, and the rest have to work at it.

                                                                                    1. Surprised that "stir the pot" or "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" have not come up yet

                                                                                      The ever popular "watch your p's and q's"

                                                                                      I've always like the phrase "that's (manure) with whipped cream and a cherry on top"

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                                          Pints and quarts. There are multiple theories about the origin but I always heard it was an English pub saying admonishing customers to watch their consumption if they started getting loud or boisterous.

                                                                                          1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                                            I heard it was an admonition from the innkeeper to the barman/maid to keep customers' running tabs straight, where the tab would be a list consisting of p's and q's, as appropriate.