Foodie phrases to whet a wordsmith’s appetite

Foodie phrases to whet a wordsmith’s appetite

​This month my copywriting blog may well see me eat my words…metaphorically at least, as I’ve been busy exploring the background to some foodie phrases.

And I’ve also had a look through a drink dictionary of sorts, too, after stumbling – or should that be Vandyke-ing?* – upon vintage words relating to drinking, too.

(Just to stress – I couldn’t possibly have been Vandyke-ing as coffee is of course the strongest stuff I sip at HRM HQ. Rest assured I am never ‘jingled’** at my desk!)

And any suggestions to the contrary should definitely be taken with a pinch of salt … or a grain. It turns out that expression originated with an ancient recipe for an antidote to poison. from Roman author Pliny the Elder. Although how effective the antidote might have been, I’d take with a … well, you get the idea.

‘Easy as pie’, ‘piece of cake’, ‘don’t cry over spilt milk’ – in her blog Grammar Girl takes a look at a bunch of idioms, some more appetising than others.

But my favourite foodie phrase is another we have Pliny to thank for – In A Nutshell.

And yes, probably because that certain idiom does give me the opportunity to drop a tasty hint about reading my column with the same name for unLTD magazine!

Pliny, however, claimed to have heard about a version of Homer's The Iliad being written in such small letters the whole book fitted inside a nutshell. Perhaps a tall tale given the length of the book but the phrase still made it into Shakespeare’s Hamlet. 

All this food and drink has made me peckish so I’m off for a brew and a bikkie. And speaking of the Bard I’ll leave you with this delicious description from As You Like It that I think sums up my appetite for words:

"It is meat and drinke to me.”



*stagger, weave, or wander in the zigzag course of one drunken or irresolute

** mildly drunk