English Idioms: The Bake Off Edition

blog home

Surely we can’t be the only ones who are obsessed with The Great British Bake Off? We’re so obsessed, in fact, that we found ourselves wondering how baking has influenced the English language over the years. Below is a list of the baking-related idioms we came up with – can you think of any others?

  1. a piece of cake – very easy
  2. a piece/slice of the pie – a share of what’s available
  3. a smart cookie – a clever person
  4. as easy as pie – very easy
  5. as flat as a pancake – very flat
  6. as slow as molasses – very slow
  7. as sweet as pie – very sweet
  8. bread and butter – the necessities
  9. bread and circuses – entertainment/policy that is used by those in power to keep the masses docile
  10. bread and water – the bare minimum
  11. cake hole – mouth
  12. cookie-cutter – mass produced
  13. daily bread – what one needs in order to survive
  14. half a loaf is better than none – it is better to accept less than you want than it is to have nothing at all
  15. half baked – not fully thought through
  16. like taking candy from a baby – very easy
  17. pie in the sky – fun to dream about but ultimately unrealistic/impossible
  18. selling like hot cakes – selling quickly and in large quantities
  19. that’s the way the cookie crumbles – a situation that must be accepted
  20. the best thing since sliced bread – very good
  21. the bread of life – something that provides spiritual nourishment
  22. the cherry on the cake/top – an additional benefit that improves an already very good situation
  23. the icing on the cake – an additional benefit/disaster that improves/worsens an already very good/bad situation
  24. to break bread – to share a meal/to celebrate the Eucharist
  25. to eat humble pie – to apologise and accept humiliation
  26. to get caught with your hand in the cookie jar – to get caught in the act of doing something wrong/naughty
  27. to have a finger in every pie – to be involved in (too) many things (usually resulting in not giving your full attention to any of them)
  28. to have your finger in a pie – to be involved in a matter
  29. to know which side the bread is buttered on – to know where your advantage lies
  30. to separate/sort the wheat from the chaff – to separate the valuable from the worthless
  31. to sugar-coat – to present something in a superficially acceptable or attractive way
  32. to take the biscuit/cake – to be much better/worse than other comparable things
  33. to use your loaf – to use your common sense
  34. to want your bread buttered on both sides – to desire more than what is reasonable to expect
  35. you can’t have your cake and eat it (too) – you can’t have something ‘both ways’/you can’t have the best of both worlds/you can’t have the two mutually exclusive things you desire at once

If you’ve found this post useful, why not check out our other articles on idioms?

  • Have a great week!

12 Sep 2016
blog home

"I ran the trial with a small group of students over three weeks before the summer holidays," she says. "I quickly saw the benefits, and signed up."

King's Leadership Academy, Warrington