3 expressions with food for the christmas feasts

‘Tis the season: holidays, parties and feasts. Music can improve the atmosphere, but food is the focus of all gatherings (at least in Spain!). So what better to get into the festive spirit than to learn some expressions with food?

The apple of one’s eye

Source: https://grammarist.com/idiom/the-apple-of-ones-eye/#:~:text=The%20phrase%20the%20apple%20of,pupil%20of%20the%20human%20eye

If you have been told that you are the apple of someone’s eye, count yourself lucky! It means you are their favorite person, or that they love you very much. 

It is a very old expression, and it dates back to more than a thousand years ago. The phrase first appears in writing in the ninth century, in King Aelfred of Wessex’ Gregory’s Pastoral Care. The origin of it is quite interesting: it referred to the pupil of the human. That’s right, it was about anatomy.

Back in the day, it was believed that the pupil was a round object that was solid. It was valuable because there was no proper eyecare and it was easy to lose sight. This is how it became a metaphor for something precious. It started to appear in more written texts such as Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: “…Hit with Cupid’s archery, Sink in apple of his eye.” It was resurrected in 1816 with Sir Walter Scott’s Old Mortality: “Poor Richard was to me as an eldest son, the apple of my eye.”

Spill the beans 

Source: https://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/13-english-expressions-with-surprisingly-funny-origins-including-spill-beans.html

To spill the beans means to reveal a secret. Nowadays, the Internet has adopted “to spill the tea” as a synonym. 

The origin of the first phrase possibly comes from the ancient Greek process of voting. It was a process whereby votes were cast by placing one of two different colored beans in a vase. Typically, a “yes” was defined by a white bean and a “no” by a black or brown bean. Therefore, no one could see the votes until they were counted. That is why, if someone spilled the vase of beans, the results would be revealed before it was time.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Source: https://poemanalysis.com/proverb/dont-put-all-your-eggs-in-one-basket/

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket is a proverb which means to avoid concentrating all of your efforts in one area, because if that fails, you are left with nothing. For example, applying to only one university is risky because if you do not get accepted, you have to wait months to apply to other universities or wait a full school year. 

The origin of the proverb is not confirmed but it dates back to the 16th century. Actually, it first appeared in writing in Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, published in 1605: “…’tis the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket.” It was extended to other languages like English through the translation of said book. However, it is believed that it was a popular proverb in Spain before that.

Were you aware of these expressions and their origins? Tell us more expressions which you would like to know the origin of! 

Click here to learn more expressions in English.

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