Breakfast 1: eggs, bread and butter

Idioms with bread and butter

Idiom Explanation Example
the best thing since sliced bread a brilliant invention or something you find fantastic I finally got some wireless headphones. I can’t believe I waited so long, they’re the best thing since sliced bread!
your bread and butter a person’s main source of income Steve does some custom work, but fitting kitchens is his bread and butter.
butter someone up flattering someone before asking for a favour so that they are more likely to do what you want —I’m going to ask Alan to cover my shift tomorrow.
—Make sure you butter him up first or he will just say no.
know which side your bread is buttered (on) know when you have an advantage or a good situation —Every time Michael visits his grandma, she gives him £20.
—No wonder he visits so often, he clearly knows which side his bread is buttered!
(look) like butter wouldn’t melt appear innocent (even if this may not be the case) I heard the vase smash and when I turned around the cat was just sitting there like butter wouldn’t melt.
butterfingers a clumsy person Kathy spilled red wine all over her white dress, she’s such a butterfingers

Idioms with egg

Idiom Explanation Example
a bad egg a person who is dishonest, unreliable or of questionable character Stay away from Colin, he’s a bad egg.
a chicken and egg situation when it’s impossible to identify the beginning or root cause of an issue Is the team unproductive because the boss is mean, or is the boss mean because the team is unproductive? It’s a chicken and egg situation.
egg someone on encourage someone to do something bad, foolish or dangerous He jumped off the roof because his friends egged him on.
you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs in order to achieve something you have to make mistakes and/or experience negative effects —I fell off my skateboard again. I’m never going to be able to do this.
—Keep going! You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.
display incorrect answers

Exercises C1

Complete the sentences with the words below. Use each word once.

butter – buttering – egg – egging – eggs

  1. Nathan made a prank call, his friends were   him on.
  2. Don’t trust Jenna, she looks like   wouldn’t melt, but actually she’s a bad  .
  3. Mistakes are normal in the creative process. Remember, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few  .
  4. Pascal said that I looked nice today, but he was just   me up to ask me for a favour.

Choose the correct idiom.

  1. Trevor is a photographer. He prefers doing creative projects but they don’t pay that well, so weddings are…
  2. Is the village isolated because there is no bus stop? Or is there no bus stop because the village is isolated? It’s …
  3. The teacher knew that the students had hidden the textbooks, but when she asked them they simply stayed quiet like …
  4. Carrie has broken two glasses this week and it’s only Wednesday. She’s …
  5. —We won the match, but two of our players got injured.
    —Oh well, …
  6. —Frank is 29 and still lives at home. He pays no rent and his mum does his laundry. He’ll never move out.
    —Why would he? He knows …
  7. —You look lovely today! Is that a new outfit? And wow, are you wearing a new perfume?
    —What do you want? You sound like you’re trying to …
  8. William skipped school yesterday. He wouldn’t have done it if his friends hadn’t …
  9. Zane has a new partner and he’s completely in love. He thinks his new partner is …

Go back