Using idioms and phrases enhances the quality of your spoken as well as written English and your language looks elegant and eloquent. In essay writing contests, it fetches you good score and keeps you a head of others.

An idiom is a  group of words that has a special meaning that is different  from the ordinary meaning of each separate word.( Source: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English)

A phrase is a group of words that together have a particular meaning, especially when they express the meaning well in a few words. .( Source: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English)

In  this post, let us learn about some of the idioms in which items normally seen in kitchen are  used to express meaning.


  As cabbage to cauliflower:   an inferior thing to a superior one.

Usage:  A tech-savvy person is to an ordinary person as a cabbage to cauliflower

Cabbages and kings:  covering a wide spectrum of topics

Usage: Yesterday, I met my old friend Srikanth and we talked about cabbages and kings.


To ginger up: to encourage

Usage:  Encouragement from the audience gingered up the singer to sing the song once more.


Pick of the basket : the best thing available

You have to reach the market early to get the pick of the basket.


To eat one’s cake and have it :  to gain the advantages from both the alternatives

(have one’s cake and eat it too)

They seem to think they can have their cake and eat it too by ordering online food and claiming refund by complaining about the food.


Chicken feed :  small amounts of food or money

The salaries given to contractual employees are chicken feed to maintain families

To count one’s chicken before they hatch: too assume success to early

He is counting his chickens before they hatched as he booked a new car expecting his increment the next month.


 Couch Potato: a lazy person

Sitting all the day at computer makes a person couch potato


To dish out a story: to give interesting news

Social media tends dish out new stories to attract viewers.


a bad egg: a waster person

Education without morals generates bad eggs.

 To egg on : to evoke, to incite, to urge

The hateful speeches of the politician egged on  communal violence.

To put all one’s eggs in one basket:    to risk all one’s money at one place

The best advice regarding investments is not to put all one’s eggs in one basket.


Out of the frying pan into the fire: from one problem to another.

He lost his job and then caught with corona. His situation is like Out of the frying pan into the fire.


The milk of human kindness: compassion

Money makes people the persons without the milk of human kindness


To mint money: to make a huge money

Kanthara movie minted money at the box office.


To sow one’s wild oats:  To behave foolishly and indulge in excess while one is young.

The heroine of the movie breaks up with the hero as he wants to sow his wild oats.


To pepper with : to add humour

The guests speech was peppered with jokes.

Pepper and salt: of mingled black and white colour

The hero flaunted the pepper and salt look.


In pickle:

Be in a pickle:  to be in a very difficult situation and not know what to do

He lost his passport and is in a pickle now.


Pot-pourri:  a mixed stew,

Potpourri is a mixture of dried, naturally fragrant plant materials, used to provide a gentle natural scent, commonly in residential settings. It is often placed in a decorative bowl.

The movie is a pot-pourri of  many  stories in one.


True to one’ salt: faithful to one’s employers

Though the maid is poor, she is true to her salt.

With a pinch of salt:  with some doubt

The teacher allowed the students to go to picnic with a pinch of salt.

The salt of the earth: people with good and true values.

Friends of my grand father are the salt of the earth.


To sugar one’s words: to flatter by talking sweetly

The peon sugared his words  to get the increment from his boss.


Water of life: spiritual refreshment

The water of life is what needed today in the society.

To water with one’s tears: to get by constant weeping

 He watered the hall with tears as he got emotional about his father.

To make a hole in the water: to commit suicide by drowning

Many people in villages with ponds tend to make a hole in the water.

Water under the bridge: no longer important

 The success of his first wife is water under the bridge for him.

To write on water or sand: to fail to leave behind an abiding record

Many freedom fighters wrote their lives on water

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