Spilling the Beans on Exciting Food Idioms

Okay, so maybe this information about idioms is not secret, which means technically, I am not spilling the beans (revealing secret information). However, I am going to be giving you some food for thought (something that should be carefully thought about). Everybody loves food. Whether it’s true love, or a love-hate relationship, it’s a fact, we cannot live with out it. Living with a husband-chef definitely has its advantages, and I am spoiled with some delicious food quite often. So I choose a food theme this week in honor of his restaurant, Mistral, launching its new spring menu. So, get off your buns (your butt, which is soft like the bread on the ends of a sandwich or hamburger [buns]), don’t be a couch potato (lazy person who doesn’t do much), and let’s practice some idioms!

We are going to learn these words in context this week. Just like you did above, use the surrounding words and information (and the definitions in parenthesis) to help you understand what the idioms mean, and then review the definitions below. The story below is not real, and created with fake people, it’s an exaggerated story to make the idiom meanings more easily understood. So take the story with a grain salt (don’t consider it 100% true or literal), but remember the idioms and meanings are very true.

    Lucy was enjoying her breakfast, drinking a cup of joe (cup of coffee) and thinking about life. She had a big problem at work and fought with a co-worker, so now feels like she has to walk on eggshells (be very careful about words to not offend or do wrong) when she is at work. Taylor, who is a bad egg (bad person that should be avoided)  is Lucy’s co-worker, and she feels like a fish out of water (uncomfortable in a situation) when he is always egging people on (encouraging them to do something) to make fun (talk negatively) of their boss. However,  she knows it’s important to stay positive, and remember when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! (stay optimistic, make something sweet even if there is misfortune).

Let’s Review:
  1. to spill the beans: to reveal secret information; to tell something that was confidential
  2. food for thought: something that should be thought about, given consideration
  3. to get off [one’s] buns: to get off your bottom and do something instead of being lazy or doing nothing (*note: “one’s” will change for the correct possessive adjective for the context [ex: my, your, his,etc..])
  4. couch potato: someone who is lazy and sits around or doesn’t exercise
  5. to take [something] with a grain of salt: to not believe all of what you hear, to know something is false or exaggerated  (*note: “something” will change to fit context of what should not be believed)
  6. cup of joe: a cup of coffee
  7. to walk on eggshells: to be very cautious/careful/sensitive of what you say or do to not offend someone or do something wrong
  8. bad egg: someone who is not a good person/dishonest, who should be avoided
  9. like a fish out of water: being very uncomfortable in a situation or group
  10. to egg [someone] on: to encourage or urge someone to do something that is usually a bad or negative thing (*note: “someone” will change to fit the context)
  11. when life gives you lemons, make lemonade: an expression that says to make the best out of even the worst situations; the lemons are sour (bad) and represent life’s difficulties, but the lemonade is something sweet and a positive thing in the end.


I hope all of these idioms are now a piece of cake (very easy). To get more practice, I encourage you to write some sentences in the comment section trying to use these new idioms. Tell me a story, or something about you. The best way to learn and remember is trying to make these idioms personalized and useful for your life. So, don’t be shy…. write a comment! 🙂

Remember, new idioms come out every week, so be sure to check back next week for a new theme of idioms and more opportunities to learn. If you liked what you read ~ sharing is caring, so share with a friend who will enjoy it too.

Happy studying and learning ♥

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  1. Madame Rosbif on July 8, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    Don’t forget hot potato

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  7. Mayra on April 9, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    You never, ever did! Thank you teacher!

  8. Park on April 9, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Bad egg makes me thinking about “nest egg” lol

    • Jennifer on April 9, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      I can’t believe it makes you think that… 🙂 a nest egg is so good! Did you learn new idioms?

      • Park on April 10, 2014 at 1:23 am

        No..nothing because today I feel like being down in the dumps.. lol

  9. Mayra on April 9, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    I’m going to spell the beans with you. I have always been kind of a couch potato, but after I had Otavio (my 1-year-old son), I got off my buns and had (and am still having!!) lots and lots of cups of joe to keep up with his energy! One more thing: you never left me feel like a fish out of water! You are great!

    • Jennifer on April 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      Mayra! Thanks for *spilling* the beans with me! Imagine how much energy when he’s running around! Get ready for more and more cups of joe! I am happy that I never left you to feel like a fish out of water, I think YOU are GREAT… so I would never do that 🙂

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