When you’re an English language learner, it isn’t uncommon to hear phrases, words, or sentences that make absolutely no sense to you. As an English language school in Hawaii, we understand how frustrating it can be to hear native speakers say things that sound, well, in some cases, crazy. There are a few English phrases often thrown around that, while food-themed, may not actually be related to food at all. Here are some of them, and what people mean when they use these phrases.
What in the world is a “couch potato?” This one’s used a lot by those who know English well, and it simply describes someone who spends a lot of time on the couch or sofa snacking, watching television, or otherwise being lazy.
Piece of cake. Have you ever heard someone say something similar to “Fixing this television will be a piece of cake” or “This test will be a piece of cake?” “Easy as pie” is another phrase that’s often used in the same way. In either case, “piece of cake” or “easy as pie” simply means the person who uses the phrase believes something will be very easy to do or accomplish.
The apple of my eye. Of course there isn’t an apple in anyone’s eye, however this phrase simply means someone is precious or cherished by the person who uses the phrase. For instance, a mother may say “Sarah is the apple of my eye,” which means she cherishes her daughter.
Cool as a cucumber. This could refer to someone’s calm demeanor when under pressure, or something that is “super cool” in the minds of many, such as the latest gadget, music, celebrity, fashion trend, etc.
He (or she) is a bad (or good) egg. What does it mean when someone says “He’s a bad egg?” Essentially a person who’s thought of as a bad egg is not a good person on the inside, while someone who’s referred to as a “good egg” is a good person to the core, or in his or her heart and soul.
There are lots of food-themed phrases people use in English that actually have nothing to do with food including “the big enchilada,” “the big cheese,” “chewing the fat,” “flavor of the month,” and others. You can find the meanings of most of these phrases online, however as your English skills progress you’ll eventually become familiar with most, and understand their meaning.
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