By the Campfire: potato, fish, sausage, wine

Idioms with potato

Idiom Explanation Example
a couch potato a lazy person I enjoy being a couch potato on Sundays.
small potatoes (always plural) something that is unimportant or insignificant when compared to something else In comparison to your news, my new job is small potatoes!
hot potato a controversial topic The new power plant is a hot potato in the press.
the meat and potatoes the basic, most essential part of something The meat and potatoes of this job is customer service.

Idioms with fish

Idiom Explanation Example
a different kettle of fish something totally different or unrelated to the topic at hand —I’m a native speaker, teaching English should be easy for me.
—Speaking a language is one thing but teaching it is a different kettle of fish.
like shooting fish in a barrel very easy Once the other team went down to ten players, we won easily. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

Other campfire idioms

Idiom Explanation Example
how the sausage gets made the unpleasant, behind-the-scenes process that creates a product, service or situation People buy fast fashion, but they ignore the realities. No one wants to know how the sausage gets made.
age like a fine wine improve with age My grandma is 82 and she looks fantastic, she’s ageing like a fine wine!
meat in the room a person or group of people who are present just to give the impression that a space is full or an event is well-attended —You’ve invited so many people to the wedding, I don’t know half of them.
—We just need meat in the room.
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Exercises

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

fish – potato – potatoes – meat – sausage – wine

  1. Compared to buying a whole new laptop, the cost of replacing the battery is small  .
  2. Frank looks amazing for 70. He’s ageing like a fine  !
  3. Don’t mention the wedding at dinner, it’s a bit of a hot   in our family.
  4. We had to do some questionable things to make this happen. Trust me, you don’t want to know how the   gets made.
  5. They paid actors to attend the event just to have some   in the room.
  6. I’ve always worked with adults, working with children is a different kettle of  .

Choose the correct idioms.

  1. That company will hire anyone, they don’t care about qualifications. They are just looking for …
  2. Jenny is so lazy, she never does anything. She’s a real …
  3. Katherine, I haven’t seen you for years! You look amazing, you’re …
  4. We won the match 10-0. It was …
  5. Callum lost his job last week and he’s being evicted from his house. Compared to his problems, mine are just …
  6. Everyone loves next-day delivery, but the conditions for the warehouse workers are terrible. No one talks about …
  7. Lending a friend £10 is one thing, but lending £10,000 is …
  8. For the trade union, a cost-of-living pay rise is really the …
  9. The reporters are definitely going to ask about this topic at the press conference, it’s a political …

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