“If music be the food of love, play on.”

William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night is the source of this popular quotation.

That’s not my cup of tea.
Not the sort of thing I like.

Don’t try to teach your grandmother to suck eggs.
A saying about not trying to teach anyone who is more experienced than you are.

Spill the beans!
Give some information out.

Know how many beans make five.
Know what’s what.

Family hold back (FHB), tummy touching table (TTT) and full to bursting (FTB)
are all a sort of code, which was going round a long time ago.  In the case of FHB there are unexpected guests who must be allowed to help themselves to the vegetables or sandwiches first.  The other two are ways of saying that I couldn’t eat another thing.

You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.
This is true, but it is often used in the context of people being upset by proposed changes.

Like the curate’s egg- good in parts.
A weird simile!  It comes from a Punch cartoon of 1895 (according to the Oxford Dictionary of Phrase, Saying, and Quotation).

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
You don’t know how good something is until you use it for its intended purpose.

Meat and two veg.
A traditional British main course.  Veg is short for vegetables.  I never know whether it includes the potatoes…and now the government expects us to eat “Five-a-day” in the line of fruit and veg.

Sunday roast.
Traditionally the main Sunday meal was a joint of lamb, beef or pork or perhaps  a chicken, with roast potatoes, vegetables, gravy and appropriate trimmings.

Cooked to a turn.
Presumably the turn is the change of colour, which indicates that it is ready.

Hard cheese.
This expression isn’t intended to cheer someone up, when they haven’t got what they wanted.

To know one’s onions.
Well, there are onions, shallots, garlic and leeks.  Someone who knows their onions may have a different field of expertise.

I’m not as green as I’m cabbage-looking.
Green means inexperienced.  Someone might say this if they thought they were being treated as if they didn’t know how to do something.

A stick and a carrot
are two ways of persuading a donkey to move or an expression relating to a threat or actual punishment and a reward which might induce someone to co-operate.

A watched pot never boils.
It seems to take a long time for something to boil if you stand and watch it.  Likewise if you are looking out for an event it can seem like a waste of time.  It might even happen as soon as you turn your back.

It’s no use crying over spilt milk
is a saying about not regretting one’s minor mistakes too much.

There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip
is another saying about not assuming that something will come to fruition.  There are at least two others in my earlier posts.  Twixt is an old word for between as in “betwixt and between”.

As alike as peas in a pod
would have been easily understood when people all grew their own food or bought it at the local market.  Now peas are frozen and sold in packets the meaning is a little less obvious.

Tea and sympathy.
When friends call round feeling sad, this is what they are looking for.

You’re making a meal of that.
Someone is making an easy job look difficult.  (Is preparing a meal a difficult job?  No doubt, it depends on the menu!)

You’ve made a dog’s dinner of that.
Meals for people are usually better presented than those for dogs.  “That” is probably not food.

I’ve made a hash of that.
Hash is a sort of stew.  The meaning is similar to the previous expression.

I can’t (insert verb here) for toffee.
Whether the verb is knit, sew, swim, or anything else, would a chewy sweet like a caramel (or in some dialects any sweet) be an incentive?  For American readers, our sweet is your candy.

In a jam
and
i
n a pickle
mean more or less the same.  Mrs Pepperpot might fit in a jar, but anyone using these phrases is experiencing problems.

Buttering someone up.
This is an expression about flattering someone so that they will perhaps do a favour.

An old chestnut
is an old joke, rather than the fruit of the sweet chestnut tree, which many people enjoy roasted.

I’ll eat my hat if…
…an expression of disbelief.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Sound advice for eating, but usually intended to dissuade someone from taking on more commitments than they can comfortably manage.

I wouldn’t do that for all the tea in China.
A definite “No”, then.

Too many cooks spoil the broth
is a proverb.  If too many people are involved they may all try to do the same things.  If it really is soup they are cooking, it could become very salty!

Enough is as good as a feast
is a saying or proverb encouraging people to be satisfied with what they need.

He’s the salt of the earth.
This comes from the Bible and refers to a good person.

Matthew Chapter 5 verse 13 (NIV)  Jesus told his disciples “You are the salt of the earth.  But if salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”

 

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