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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


FOOD and DRINK, page 2

Idioms
from:   'have your cake and eat it'   to:  'old chestnut'


  • have your cake and eat it
    • To say that someone wants to have their cake and eat it means that they want the advantages of two alternative situations when only one is possible.
      "Jack enjoys his comfort but is always complaining about the cost of things. He can't have his cake and eat it."

  • icing on the cake
    • If something is referred to as icing on the cake, it is an extra benefit that makes a good situation even better.
      "Good news! I get the job ... and the icing on the cake is that I get a company car too!"

  • slice/share of the cake (or pie)
    • When people feel entitled to a share of the profits or benefits, they want a (larger) slice of the cake.
      "Since profits are higher this year, the workers feel they deserve a bigger slice of the cake."

  • cake not worth the candle
    • To say that the cake is not worth the candle means that the advantages to be gained from doing something are not worth the effort involved.
      "He recorded an album but sold very few copies; the cake wasn't worth the candle."

  • sell like hot cakes
    • Things that sell like hot cakes sell quickly or in large quantities.
      "Her books always sell like hot cakes."

  • carrot and stick approach
    • If you use a carrot-and-stick approach, you use the promise of reward and the threat of punishment to make someone work harder.
      "Some parents use a carrot-and-stick approach to obtain good results from their children."

  • champagne taste on a beer budget
    • Someone who likes expensive things that they cannot afford has champagne taste on a beer budget.
      "Eve borrows money to buy expensive designer clothes - champagne taste on a beer budget!"

  • big cheese
    • This expression refers to a person who has a lot of power and influence in an organisation.
      "Tom's father is a big cheese in the oil industry."

  • like chalk and cheese / as different as chalk and cheese
    • Two people who are like, or as different as, chalk and cheese are completely different from each other.
      "I'm surprised they get on so well. They're as different as chalk and cheese."

  • cheesed off
    • If someone is cheesed off with something, they are annoyed, bored or frustrated.
      "Jenny is absolutely cheesed off with her job."

  • cherry pick
    • When you cherry pick, you choose something with great care and select only the best.
      "Top university graduates are often cherry-picked by large companies."

  • get a second bite/two bites at the cherry
    • This expression means that you get a second opportunity to do or try something.
      "He was eliminated in the semi-finals, but he'll get a second bite at the cherry next year."

  • life is just a bowl of cherries
    • This expression means that life is pleasant and uncomplicated.
      (This phrase is often used ironically to mean the opposite.)
      "Now that he's retired, my grandfather says 'life is just a bowl of cherries'."

  • old chestnut
    • A story, joke or an idea that has been repeated so often that it has lost its novelty is referred to as an 'old chestnut'.
      "The story about his boat capsizing has become an old chestnut!"

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