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  • Hello.

  • I'm Gill at engVid, and today's lesson is on idioms and sayings which are based on references

  • to food and drink.

  • Okay?

  • So, these are sayings that are sort of metaphorical, meaning they're not literally true, but they

  • mean something in a different kind of context.

  • So, you'll see what I mean when we look at the examples.

  • Okay?

  • So, the first one is this, which is actually true literally, as well as metaphorically

  • perhaps, but it's: "There's no point crying over spilt milk."

  • So, if you spill...

  • "To spill".

  • If you drop the milk and it goes all over the floor, you've lost it; you can't use it,

  • and milk is...

  • Well, milk costs money; it's inconvenient to lose some milk when you need it for your...

  • To put in your coffee or whatever.

  • So, if you spill some milk, it's...

  • You know, I... if it happens to me, I feel annoyed and upset because I've wasted some

  • milk which I needed, really, and you have to then go out and buy some more.

  • And it makes a mess; you have to clean it up.

  • If you don't clean it up properly, it goes bad and it starts to smell.

  • So, there are all those things to think about.

  • So...

  • But then this saying is: "There's no point crying over spilt milk."

  • The idea is once it's spilt, you can't do anything about it - that's it, you just have

  • to get on, clean it up, carry on, go and buy some more or do without it; don't bother getting

  • any more, have your...

  • Drink your tea without any milk in it - whatever it is.

  • So, this is what people say sometimes if someone's complaining and they're upset about something,

  • people say that just to say: "Well, there's no point being upset about it.

  • That doesn't achieve anything.

  • You've just got to move on and be positive; carry on and don't just be negative all the

  • time, saying: 'Oh, dear.

  • Oh, dear, isn't this terrible?'"

  • The main thing is to do something positive about it, and not just cry...

  • Crying when you spill the milk.

  • There's no point.

  • Okay, that's that one.

  • Then the next one, if you say: "That's not my cup of tea" or "That's not really my cup

  • of tea", it doesn't mean literally: "That's not my cup of tea; that's somebody else's

  • cup of tea."

  • What it means is that's not my taste.

  • Okay.

  • If somebody invites you to go to a film at the cinema, and maybe it's a horror film,

  • and if you don't really like horror films, you probably don't want to go.

  • So, you say: "Oh, that's a horror film, isn't it?

  • That's not really my cup of tea.

  • I don't think so.

  • Tell me when there's a different kind of film on, and I might go to that with you, but horror

  • film - no, not my cup of tea."

  • So it's just a saying that we have.

  • "It's not my cup of tea.

  • It's not my taste; I don't enjoy that sort of thing."

  • Okay.

  • Right.

  • So, next one, if someone is on the gravy train...

  • If someone said: "Oh, she's on the gravy train", it may be that someone has got a job, or maybe

  • it's like a politician sometimes - they get the kind of job where they earn a lot of money,

  • they have the opportunity to go out for meals in restaurants quite a lot, and it's all paid

  • for on their work expenses and so on.

  • So, if you're on the gravy train...

  • The "gravy" is the kind of sauce that you put on your food.

  • In English cooking, it's a kind of brown sauce; it could have beef flavour in it or chicken

  • flavour, but it's hot liquid, quite thick.

  • It's a bit like a soup, and you pour it on your meal with...

  • If you have a meat and vegetable meal, you can pour gravy onto it to give you a kind

  • of sauce to add to your food.

  • So, it's the idea of sort of rich food and something nice to eat.

  • So, if someone is on the gravy train, it means they're in a position where they can have

  • a really nice time and lots of nice things to eat, and generally not have to worry about

  • money and so on.

  • So, that's that one.

  • Okay, next one: "He knows which side his bread is buttered."

  • Okay.

  • So, if you think of a slice of bread...

  • There's a slice of bread.

  • And if you put butter on your bread...

  • You...

  • I think you only put it on one side usually, don't you?

  • If you put butter on both sides, it would get very messy because you'd be putting the

  • butter down onto the plate, it would stick to the plate - you know, not a good idea.

  • So, usually you put butter on one side of your bread, there.

  • Okay?

  • So, one side is buttered; has butter on it, and the other side is not buttered.

  • So, I think we all know if we have butter on our bread, we can see which side is buttered;

  • there's no difficulty there.

  • But this is not literal; this is metaphorical.

  • So, if somebody knows which side his bread is buttered, that means he knows...

  • If he has a job in an organization, he knows who the important people are, and he knows

  • who the less important people are, and he won't waste any time with the less important

  • people.

  • He just wants to spend time with the more important people because they have more power

  • and influence, so this is someone who is rather calculating, you could call it.

  • If someone is calculating, they work out in an organization: "Who is the best person to

  • socialize with?" for example.

  • And who... who...

  • "Some people I wouldn't waste my time with because they don't have any power in the organization."

  • It's not a very nice attitude, but there are people like that.

  • So, that kind of person who is calculating about who they're nice to and who they don't

  • have time for - they are the people who know which side their bread is buttered.

  • They know who to, you know... who to talk to, who to spend time with for their advantage.

  • Okay.

  • Right.

  • So, and then another bread and butter one, but this is quite different.

  • If you say: "This job is my bread and butter", it means this job is what I rely on for my

  • money.

  • My food... bread and butter is sort of basic food.

  • Well, bread is basic food; butter is a bit of a luxury, but I suppose it's meant to mean

  • that.

  • Bread is the basic stuff; butter is a bit more luxury.

  • If you have a bit of extra money, you will buy some butter.

  • So, you have your job to earn your money to buy your food and all your needs; it's to

  • do with survival.

  • So, survival.

  • Having...

  • Having enough money to live on.

  • So, if you have a job which gives you money to live on, to survive.

  • So, that's what people say: "This job is my bread and butter.

  • I need it."

  • Okay.

  • Okay, so now we've had the bread and the butter, now we've got the jam.

  • So, if someone says, like with a question mark and with an exclamation mark as well,

  • it looks rather extreme, but this is said in a sort of sarcastic way.

  • Okay.

  • So, if someone is asking for something and you give them what they want, and then they

  • want something more and you give them that, and then they still want more, it's as if

  • they are never satisfied.

  • Some people are never satisfied, and they...

  • You give them one thing and they want another.

  • Sometimes that's good; it depends whether it's convenient for you or not, but you can

  • say sarcastically to someone like that: "Do you want jam on it?!" or "Do you want jam

  • on it, too?!"

  • You know, meaning: "You know, how much more are you going to want?

  • It's enough to have bread and butter without adding jam as well."

  • Jam is sort of a lot extra.

  • You know, so: "Do you want jam on it?!" or "Do you want jam on it, too?!" said in a sarcastic

  • way.

  • Or you...

  • Or someone might say: "You want jam on it, too, don't you!?

  • You want jam on it, too!"

  • You're the sort of person who always wants more.

  • Okay, so that's that one.

  • And then, finally for this first half of the lesson, if: "They're cherry picking examples

  • to support their argument", if people are cherry picking examples, if they're trying

  • to argue about maybe climate change or something to do with finance, banking, any big sort

  • of political issue, really - people have to use examples to support their argument.

  • But the idea is they should really find a lot of different examples to get a wide picture

  • of the situation.

  • But sometimes people find an example which doesn't fit their argument; it doesn't fit

  • and it doesn't support their argument.

  • So, what do they do sometimes?

  • They decide: "I'm not going to use that example because it doesn't help; it might go the opposite

  • way."

  • So...

  • But then they find all the examples they can to support their argument, but if they find

  • a few that don't support it, they will leave those out; not mention them at all.

  • So, that's called "cherry picking" because cherries are these little red fruits that

  • grow on trees.

  • Cherries.

  • So, cherry picking is just taking a small piece of fruit, like that.

  • So, it's selective.

  • It's being selective.

  • So, if you want to give a balanced view of something, you might find examples from both

  • sides to show, you know, for and against climate change, for example.

  • But if someone wants to really prove their point, they're going to leave out the examples

  • that don't fit that.

  • Okay, so that's the first half of our lesson, and let's move on now to the second part.

  • Okay, so let's look at the second set of seven idioms.

  • So, first of all, we have this one: "She wants her share of the cake."

  • Okay.

  • And it's similar to the second one: "He wants his slice of the pie."

  • So, in both of these, if you think of a circular cake or pie, and usually you cut...

  • You cut it up into pieces, like that, and you share it.

  • You share it among some people, different people.

  • And you have a slice - that's a slice; a section of the pie or the cake.

  • So, this is about people wanting their part of something.

  • So, it can be literal; it could be literally true.

  • There is a cake there or there is a pie, and everybody wants to have a piece of it-okay-which

  • is fine.

  • But also it can be used metaphorically just to mean that somebody wants part of something

  • that's going on or they want to benefit in some way from something.

  • They don't want to be left out.

  • The idea of being left out.

  • If everybody else is having a piece of pie or cake, or they're taking part in a meeting

  • or something at work, people feel that they should be involved; not be left out.

  • They think: "Well, why are those people in there having a meeting, and not me?

  • Why not me?"

  • So this is when people feel left out and they want to make sure that they get their share

  • as well.

  • Okay.

  • Next one, if you say someone was "as nice as pie", it's not the same as having a share

  • or a slice.

  • If someone is as nice as pie...

  • Well, pie is nice, I think.

  • Most people like to eat a piece of pie; it's nice, something with a nice pastry on it,

  • and with nice fruit inside or meat or something.

  • Pie is nice to eat.

  • I think most people like it.

  • So, if someone is as nice as pie, it means that they're nice, pleasant, polite, and so

  • on.

  • It may be that you were expecting the person not to be nice, especially if maybe you're

  • having to apologize to somebody for something and you think that they're going to be angry

  • about something.

  • And then when you do go to talk to them and say: "Oh, I'm sorry about something", and

  • they're really nice about it and it's unexpected, you think they might tell you, you know, how

  • annoyed they are or something, or they might be a bit unfriendly.

  • But if they're really nice about it, you can say: "Oh, it was all okay.

  • She was as nice as pie about it."

  • Okay.

  • So it can be in a situation where you were not expecting the person to be nice, but then

  • they were.

  • Okay.

  • So, then moving on to apples.

  • So, if: "There's one rotten apple in the barrel"...

  • Okay.

  • So the barrel is a container, like that.

  • It's often made of wood with sort of metal strips holding it, like that.

  • And you might put apples in it to store them.

  • So, you have a barrel full of apples.

  • But if one of them is rotten...

  • "Rotten" - you can pronounce that either with the "t" sound or without, by the way.

  • You could say: "Ro'en", "ro'en" or "rotten", "rotten".

  • I think both are correct.

  • So, if you have an apple...

  • There's the apple, there.

  • And it's a nice red apple.

  • And it might have a bit of...

  • A bit of green on it, which is fine as well.

  • But if you have a bit of black, there, and it's gone soft...

  • And it's brown, really, more brown than black, except I don't have a brown marker here, so

  • I'm having to improvise with black.

  • That was my fault for not getting a brown marker.

  • So, if there's a black bit or a brown bit on an apple, and it's soft and you think:

  • "Oh, dear, that's gone a bit...

  • That's a bit old, that apple", you might cut that piece off and eat the rest, or you may

  • not feel like eating any of it because of the black bit.

  • So, that is "rotten".