For an utter foodie like me, it is but natural to ponder during my lazy hours about what I will cook, how I will cook it, and how much I will cook. As I munched on my roasted chickpeas, I wondered about food (of course), but more so about how it plays such an intricate part in not only my life, but of all humans. Other than being the core of our sustenance, it also trickles into our everyday speech, contemporary literature and colloquialisms in a rather fascinating way. We use food phrases to give more depth, secrecy, sarcasm and wit to situations. Some of these idioms are weird - seriously - sometimes I wonder why they are in usage. This article is just that. I explore five of my favorite weird food phrases. Let's begin!
1. Going bananas
This phrase has definitely become the universal tagline for someone going crazy. Where did this even come from? Well, according to a lexicographer E.J. Lighter, this phrase is a second derivative of ‘going ape,’ and because apes love to eat bananas...yup, that's right. The fact that Lighter made that connection is making me go bananas!
“Are you a magician? Because whenever I look at you, everyone else disappears.”
“No wonder the sky is grey today, all the blue is in your eyes.”
“Let’s commit the perfect crime: I’ll steal your heart, and you will steal mine.”
Smiling? Blushing yet? Sending a text to your bae? See the connotation to this word is as delicious as the actual substance. I personally dislike ‘cheesy’ compliments because of their unrealistic nature, but at the same time, I cannot help but always get rosy when someone gives them to me. I can neither shy away from cheese nor some cheesy lines. What a fatty situation.
3. When life gives you lemons…
Who made this one? Where did this come from?? Whoever’s life got ‘’lemons’’ must have had such an experience. And the continuum of the idiom is even more epic: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Make lemon pie, make lemon pickle, make lemon this and lemon that! Somebody got really sour with their life, literally.
4. Spill the beans
This one means to divulge a secret. But my question is, why beans? Spilling beans is not as scary, messy or wasteful as, say, spilling oil or milk or butter. Well, the answer lies in the past. Historians claim that secret societies in Greece apparently voted by dropping beans into an urn to reveal a secret vote before ballots were counted. There, I spilled the beans to the mystery behind the idiom.
5. Couch potato
Although this does not have a very positive undertone, this idiom builds a very cute visual image in my mind. But has anyone wondered how this came through? A rich guy from California coined this in the 1970s to describe unhealthy snackers seated in front of their t.v. sets. This now ubiquitous phrase is synonymous to Netflix weekends (or weekdays), midnight snacks, and endless laziness. Somehow, I seem to like this idiom the best. It’s best fitting to my generation. Wait – it doesn’t “fit,” it needs to exercise to fit ;)