Webster's New World American Idioms Handbook

Webster's New World American Idioms Handbook by Gail Brenner Read Free Book Online

Book: Webster's New World American Idioms Handbook by Gail Brenner Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gail Brenner
    Considering the importance of food in daily life, one would expect to find many idioms for the word food, but there are only a few common ones. Here are two slang expressions for food:
    grub ♦ I’m hungry. I’m going to make some grub.
    chow ♦ The chow is ready. Let’s eat.
    These are old expressions, but they’re still used sometimes. And people sometimes say “ Chow time!” instead of “Time to eat.” A common expression that refers to a small meal or snack is a bite to eat, as in, “Would you like a bite to eat? ” or “I’m hungry; I think I’ll have a bite to eat. ”
    A large, delicious meal might be called a feast or a banquet, as in “What a great meal. It was a banquet!” (Literally, feasts and banquets are large dinners or celebrations involving lots of people and food.)
    Preparing Food
    Typically, the verbs make and fix are used to talk about food preparation, as in these examples:
It’s time to make dinner.
He fixed a great meal.
    Here are a few other idioms that refer to preparing food:
    put in ( or on)
    (v) to place food in the oven to cook, or to place a pot or kettle on the stove to heat ♦ I put the casserole in at 5:00, so it’s almost ready. ♦ S he put the kettle on. Grammar Note: Put on and put in are separable phrasal verbs; they can be separated by a direct object.
    (v) to cook something in a microwave. Alludes to the term “nuclear,” jokingly, as a source of fast heat. ♦ For how long should I nuke this potato? ♦ If I want to cook something fast, I just nuke it.
    throw together
    (v) to quickly prepare a meal or dish; to compose a meal with little planning or few ingredients ♦ We’ll just heat up some soup and throw together a salad for dinner. ♦ She can throw the best meal together in less than an hour. ♦ There’s not much food in the house, but let’s see what we can throw together. Grammar Note: Throw together is a separable phrasal verb; it can be separated by a direct object.
    whip up
    (v) to prepare a meal or dish very quickly and easily ♦ My grandmother often whipped up some cookies before we came to visit. ♦ I need at least an hour to make dinner. I can’t just whip something up. Grammar Note: Whip up is a separable phrasal verb; it can be separated by a direct object.
    slave over a hot stove (all day)
    (v) to work very hard, long, and diligently (like a slave) to complete a task; to spend a lot of time and effort preparing a big meal. Often used jokingly when someone has actually spent little time preparing a meal, as in the second example that follows. ♦ I don’t enjoy slaving over a hot stove all day. I’d rather go to a restaurant. ♦ I’m glad you like the sandwiches. I slaved over a hot stove all day making them!
    [For information on separable and non-separable phrasal verbs, see Part V.]
    The Table
    Following are common expressions for preparing the table for a meal and cleaning up the table afterward:
    Let’s Sit Down
    When a meal is ready and it’s time to invite everyone to sit at the table, people commonly use expressions like time to sit down, let’s sit down, come eat, and time for dinner (breakfast, lunch, etc). In the context of dining, the idiom sit down means to come to the table and start eating. For example, if you’re invited to a dinner, the host might say, “Come anytime before 7:00. We’ll sit down around 7:30.” Or at home, someone might say, “Okay, everyone, wash your hands. We’re going to sit down in a minute.”
    set the table
    (v) to put the plates, glasses, silverware, and other items on the table in preparation for a meal. Also said as the table is set. ♦ Josh, would you please set the table? ♦ The table is all set, so let’s eat!
    put out or put on
    (v) to put specific items on the table in preparation for eating ♦ We still need to put out the glasses. ♦ Don’t put out any plates, just bowls for soup. ♦ He forgot to put on some napkins. Grammar Note: Put out and put on are

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