Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody and welcome back to Top Words! My name is Alisha and today, we're gonna talk about 10 food and drink related idioms. So, let's go!
1. bite off more than one can chew
Okay, the first idiom is "bite off more than one can chew," bite off more than one can chew. This means to try to do too much… at your work, at a project, in your schedule. To try to do too much is to bite off more than you can chew.
So imagine, you're eating something large like a hamburger or a piece of pizza or, I don't know, steak, and you bite, this motion, too much to chew. It's too much in your mouth to chew it. You've done too much, it's a mistake.
So we say that for your life as well. If you try to do too much, you can't handle it. You can't deal with it. We say…
"You've bitten off more than you can chew."
"I bit off more than I could chew.
In a sentence…
"Oh man, I bit off more than I could chew with this project.
2. couch potato
The next expression is "couch potato." A couch potato is someone who never leaves their couch. The image of a couch potato, this is a person by the way, a person is a couch potato. They lay on the sofa all day. Maybe they're eating potato chips, junk food. They don't really do very much. They're not very responsible. This is the image of a couch potato. They're lazy. Maybe they don't have a job or maybe they don't shower very often, I don't know.
A couch potato is seen as very negative, very lazy, they don't do… like very productive things with their lives. So, couch potato, negative. You don't want to be a couch potato. Though maybe all of us are a little bit of a couch potato sometimes, like relaxing on the days off that we have.
In a sentence…
"My college roommate was a couch potato."
That's true of my ex-boyfriend's roommate. Oh my gosh! That dude was like a professional couch potato. I don't know how he dealt with it. He just like never got sunlight, like he will just always sit in the basement with his dog and eating Cheetos all day, and then, he would be like, "I have stomach problems." I'm like, "Duh! You have stomach problems!" Like, of course you have stomach problems, you're living like this… you're living like this horribly unhealthy life.
3. piece of cake
Piece of cake. Piece of cake means "easy," something that's easy, pleasant, nice, no problems. Just...it's gonna be good! It's a piece of cake.
In a sentence…
"This is easy! What a piece of cake!"
4. take with a grain of salt
The next idiom is "take with a grain of salt." Take with a grain of salt means don't take something seriously. This is usually used to talk about something someone has said. Like, maybe someone who says a lot of dramatic things or is very… like angry or upset. You might hear their comments, their negative comments and someone says…
"Don't worry, take it with a grain of salt."
It means don't take it very seriously. It's not that serious.
So, in a sentence…
"Don't worry too much about what she says. Take it with a grain of salt."
5. spill the beans
The next expression is "spill the beans." Spill the beans means "tell a secret," tell the secret. I guess just because the image is like a can of dried beans and you spill it and it goes everywhere. You tell a secret and the secret goes everywhere like, oh, it's so shocking and surprising, wah! Maybe that's… maybe that's the reason, I don't know. But spill the beans means tell a secret.
So, in a sentence…
"So, spill the beans! What happened last weekend?"
6. chew the fat
The next one is "chew the fat." Chew the fat means "gossip." It just means chat, it means gossip, talk. This is more common in British English than in American English, I should say. I don't use this expression, but you might hear it more in British English than in American English. Chew the fat means "gossip."
In a sentence…
"We just got some drinks and chewed the fat all night."
7. don't put all your eggs in one basket
In the next expression, "don't put all your eggs in one basket." Don't put all your eggs in one basket means don't invest all your time, don't invest all your money, don't invest all your efforts in only one thing.
So the image is, if you put all of your eggs, imagine your eggs are your… your valuable things; maybe your time, your money, your effort, if you put it all in one basket and you dropped the basket, everything is destroyed, right? So, it's saying… this is an expression which means you should diversify. You should try to put your efforts and your time and all that stuff in many different places. It's a good idea to diversify. That's the meaning here. Try to keep a variety of different things where your efforts are being used.
So, in a sentence…
"I know this seems like a good idea, but be careful not to put all your eggs in one basket."
8. hair of the dog that bit you
Ah, the next expression is "hair of the dog that bit you." The hair of the dog that bit you, this is typically used after a night of drinking. So, it's said that if you drink too much and the next day you wake up, you have a hangover, that very uncomfortable sick feeling because of drinking, because of alcohol. They say... it is said that if you drink the hair of the dog that bit you, it will cure you, you will feel better, your hangover will disappear.
So the hair of the dog that bit you means "alcohol," actually. The hair of the dog means alcohol. Sometimes, you hear "hair of the dog that bit you" or just "hair of the dog" means alcohol. That's the… that's the meaning of this alcohol.
So, in a sentence…
"A little hair of the dog that bit you will get rid of that hangover."
9. cry over spilled milk
The next idiom is "cry over spilled milk." Cry over spilled milk means getting "too upset," means getting very upset over a very small problem. So usually, we say…
"Don't cry over spilled milk."
So, the image here, you spill out some milk, it's not a big problem. You can clean it up very easily. There's no reason to cry over spilled milk. So, don't get upset over big problems. That's what this idiom means.
In a sentence…
"It's just a small mistake. No use crying over spilled milk."
10. to butter someone up
The next expression is "to butter someone up." To butter someone up means "to flatter them," to give them lots and lots of compliments.
Usually though, they are insincere compliments, so to butter someone up is to give a lot of false or untrue compliments or unearned compliments because you want the other person to think well of you, to think kindly of you. So this is an insincere complimenter.
So, in a sentence…
"He wanted something really bad; he really buttered me up."