Monday, 9 May 2011

Idioms Part 23 (Food - Pie/Potato) Interactive Game

I can't believe that almost a month has passed since my last idiom activity!

We're still on food; this time we'll take a look at pies & potatoes.

as easy as pie

It means just that - extremely easy. Sometimes, you'll hear 'easy as apple pie': That test we did today was really easy as pie, wasn't it?

eat humble pie

When you eat humble pie, you admit your error and apologize (normally): I was forced to eat humble pie when I mistakenly accused him of stealing my mobile phone; he had one exactly like mine, but mine was in my back pocket the whole time!

have one's finger in the pie

- to be involved in something. Often, you'll hear this version:

have one's fingers in too many pies

This happens when you're involved in so many things that you're unable to do any of them well: My son has his finger in too many pies; I told him to just concentrate on one course instead of having to divide his time among the five he's doing right now.

pie in the sky

This refers to a plan or an idea that is rather far-fetched, and is unlikely to bear fruit: All his ideas had been previously dismissed as pie in the sky until he came up with his brilliant add-on to Twitter.

slice of the pie

To want a slice of the pie is to want a part of what is being shared. This expression is used mainly in the USA; the UK equivalent is slice of the cake: This year's education budget has been reduced dramatically, so each school will have a smaller slice of the pie.

couch potato

Originally, this is used to refer to someone who spends a lot of time on the couch (sofa) watching television, but now, it refers to anyone who leads a sedentary lifestyle: You're such a couch potato! It's about time you start doing something other than sitting in front of your computer screen all day!

drop (someone or something) like a hot potato

- to stop being involved with someone or something due to problems. Sometimes, you will hear 'drop like a hot brick' instead: He was dropped from the team like a hot potato when he was seen with the team manager's daughter.

small potatoes

This expression is used mainly in the US. In the UK, it's more common to hear 'small fry'. 'Small beer' also has the same meaning: something or someone unimportant or insignificant: He acts as though he's a big shot in the company, but, in fact, he's nothing but small potatoes.

meat and potatoes (mainly US)

These are the most important or the most basic parts of something. It's also used as an adjective to refer to someone with ordinary tastes, or something that is very basic:

The meat and potatoes of any computer is the RAM.
Sue gave a meat-and-potatoes explanation of the new camera, but everyone understood.

Now that you've learned these idioms, put your knowledge to the test on this interactive activity. Click the image below to begin. Although it isn't necessary, registration at Purpose Games will allow you to keep track of your scores. Have fun!

ELT EFL ESL CLIL Resources, Activities, Games: Potato and Pie Idioms

Be sure to check out the rest of this series on idioms. Go to the index file and search (ctrl F) for 'Idioms'.

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