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Food idioms to spice up your English speaking part 1

English native speakers love to use phrasal verbs and idioms, but it can be a real challenge for English learners to understand. Today we’ll have a look at some useful food-based idioms and give you an idea about how to use them, with some practical examples.

A good understanding of some important idioms will allow you to raise your English level and also sound much more natural and fluent. You’ll see idioms about cake, bread and butter, pinches of salt, eating words and negative egg perspectives!

A piece of cake

This is a great idiom to talk about things that are easy.

This one apparently comes from the Royal Air Force in Britain in the 1930’s, signifying a mission that was as easy as eating a tasty dessert.

We often use this idiom to talk about actions that we expected to be more difficult, but were actually quite easy.

“That exam was a piece of cake, I thought it would be harder”

“Piece of cake that sales call, they sounded really impressed”

Bread and butter

This is a great idiom to talk about things that are fundamental or vital to something.

Bread (and sometimes butter) were a main part of medieval diets for poorer people, so when we use this idiom, we refer to things at the heart of a matter.

“OK so the bread of butter of sales is confidence”

“Let’s get down to the bread and butter here, you’ve got to make decisions”

Take it with a pinch of salt

The origin of this idiom isn’t clear, but it’s a great way to tell someone not to be too trusting.

We use this idiom to tell people that the information or idea might not be accurate or trustworthy.

“Take that article with a pinch of salt, you never know if it’s true”

“I’d take his advice with a pinch of salt, he’s a bit of a mess really”

Eat your words

This is a great idiom to talk about being wrong and being made to acknowledge that you were wrong. You can say a lot of things with confidence, but sometimes those words turn out to not be useful or correct!

“I told you you’d eat those words, we’re lost and it’s your fault”

“By the end of the year you’ll eat your words about our new project, we’re going big”

A bad egg

This is a great idiom to talk about a mean, rude or even an evil person!

We can use this idiom for people who have a reputation for not doing the right thing, or not treating people well.

“He’s a bad egg, and he has been since he was about 16”

“I don’t think she’s a bad egg, she just needs some help and compassion”


It’s not just about being able to make yourself understood, but also fitting in with native English speakers and understanding them better too.

If you want to improve your English, learn how to communicate with native speakers or boost your international employment chances, get in touch with RKA Valencia at, or contact us here.

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