An old saying asserts that the way to a person’s heart is through the stomach. That might be why Americans often express themselves in the language of food.

For example, an idea that is not fully thought out is “half-baked,” while a really good idea might be praised as “the best thing since sliced bread.”

Below are five other food-based idioms you’re likely to hear from Americans:

Pie in the sky

(© AP Images)

What it means: Something that is unrealistic or that cannot be achieved.
In conversation: “The salesman promised Amy that the wrinkle cream would make her skin as soft as a baby’s, but she knew not to believe him. It was pie in the sky.”

Cry over spilled milk

What it means: To be unhappy because of a past event that cannot be changed.
In conversation: “There’s no use worrying about a test you didn’t pass. You can’t make it up, so stop crying over spilled milk.”

Piece of cake


What it means: Something that is easy to do.
In conversation: “When Roger studied Spanish, it was a piece of cake. But he found that learning Japanese was very hard.”

Bring home the bacon

What it means: To bring money into the household to support a family.
In conversation: “Leo became ill and couldn’t work anymore, so his wife went back to work. Now she’s the one who brings home the bacon.”

Have egg on one’s face


What it means: To be or appear to be embarrassed.
In conversation: “Andy sure had egg on his face when he realized he had made a fool of himself at the party.”

Learn more

ShareAmerica features materials on learning American English. Explore everyday conversations or learn idioms related to love and relationships.

The American English website has a variety of free resources for learners and teachers of English. The American English Facebook page posts learning materials for English language learners daily.