Eating and talking about food is one of the most satisfying things in the world. Discussing the wide variety of foods and the colorful idiomatic expressions associated with eating makes for some really vivid reading for students of the English language. Let’s see what some of these interesting idioms are:
1. Made a pig of themselves
Meaning- When someone eats way too much, then this expression is used informally.
E.g. I made a real pig of myself at the party.
2. Eat like a horse
Meaning- Someone who eats a lot regularly.
E.g. Rohit is thin as a stick yet he eats like a horse.
3. Eat like a bird
Meaning- This means the opposite of ‘eat like a horse’. It refers to someone who eats very less.
E.g. Pooja was very concerned about her figure so she always ate like a bird.
4. Wolf food down
Meaning- Eating a lot very quickly.
E.g. The kids wolfed the burgers down and then started on the pizza.
5. Work up an appetite
Meaning- To do something that results in a buildup of your appetite.
E.g. Let me go for a walk to work up an appetite.
6. Spoils your appetite
Meaning- Something that no longer makes you feel hungry.
E.g. Looking at the gruesome video of the chickens being slaughtered at KFC made me lose my appetite.
7. Make your mouth water
Meaning- When you see something delicious or delectable and it makes you feel very hungry.
E.g. The smell of oven-fresh baked pizza made my mouth water.
8. Eat someone for breakfast
Meaning- This is to indicate that the first person will easily defeat the other in a particular competition they are involved in.
E.g. Roger Federer is expected to eat his unseeded opponent for breakfast in the match tomorrow.
9. Dog-eat-dog world
Meaning: An environment that is ruthlessly competitive
E.g. You have to sacrifice your personal lives in the corporate sector to stay ahead, because it is a dog-eat-dog world there.
10. Eat your heart out!
Meaning: A taunt to a person noted for some skill or accomplishment to indicate that the speaker has outperformed that particular person in that field
E.g. Eat your heart out!, said the novice to the veteran photographer when he won the annual photography contest.
11. Will eat my hat
Meaning: When this expression is said, the speaker is so confident of a certain thing not happening or coming true that he or she states exaggeratedly that they would eat their headgear.
E.g. I will eat my hat if Avengers: Infinity War crossed the global BO figures of Avatar.
12. Eat one’s words
Meaning: This means to figuratively injest your own words after having been proven wrong on something
E.g. The psephologist had to eat his words after the party he suggested didn’t win by a uge margin in the elections.
13. Eating crow/eating dirt/eating the humble pie
Meaning: These are all extreme figurative meanings when one has to undergo the humiliation of being proven wrong.
E.g. The analyst had to eat crow after the figures he anticipated turned out to be an exact opposite of the actual result.
14. Gnaw away
Meaning: When you are beset with an emotion such as guilt, and it eats you away, then the emotional distress you feel is akin to being gnawed away physically.
E.g. Shefali topped the exams, but the fact she cheated in a couple of them was gnawing away at the back of her mind.
15. Eating out of one’s hand
Meaning: This is used to refer to a person who has been tamed or brought under control such that they are eating out of that person’s hands.
E.g. Shikha knew her kid’s weakness was PS4 games, so she soon had him eating out of her hands when she wanted to get some work done.
16. Won’t eat you
Meaning: This is said to a person who is feeling apprehensive of meeting or approaching someone, because it seems that he or she is quite shy.
E.g. Go ahead and meet the captain, he won’t eat you.
Found the article interesting? Now read about 30 expressions and phrases related to food!