CoolAsACucumberThe English Language is full of food idioms to cover most situations. There are also those idioms that you can use when doing business with English native speakers. Indeed, by adding them to your conversation you will come across as a natural user of the English Language.

The list is endless, so I’ve chosen 10 food and food-related idioms here to show you what they mean and how you could use them in a sentence.



1. “As cool as a cucumber” – to be calm, not nervous or anxious                                           Look at Jason. He is as cool as a cucumber. He never gets nervous before an interview.

2. “to bite the hand that feeds you” – to harm someone who does good things for you.          I wouldn’t annoy your Boss. You don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you.

3. “to butter someone up” – to flatter someone so that you can win their friendship or favour                                                                                                                                                  Ever since the new Sales Director joined the company, she’s been buttering him up.

4. “to cheese someone off” (BrE) – To annoy someone                                                                Will you please stop doing that? You’re really cheesing me off.  

The Big Cheese
5. “Big Cheese” – an important person, a leader                                                                             Who’s the big cheese in this organisation?    

6. “Carrot and Stick” – to reward someone who does what you want or punish them if they don’t                                                                                                                                               He likes to use the carrot and stick approach when managing his team.

7. “to bite off more than you can chew” – try to do more than you can manage                                 With this new job, I’m afraid Susan has bitten off more than she can chew.

8. “to cut the mustard” – to succeed, do something well                                                         He did not last long in the job. He just didn’t cut the mustard.


9. “to be cheesed off” – to be annoyed or irritated                                                                          I have to complete this report by tonight. I’m so cheesed off.

10. “To eat humble pie” – to admit your mistake and apologize                                                     Brian had to eat humble pie when he realised the mistakes in the budget report.


What other food idioms do you know and have used in business?

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Ciao for now.