Christmas Food Idioms

There are some types of food that we traditionally eat at Christmas in the UK. For example, roast turkey, chestnut stuffing, Christmas pudding, and so on.

We also have a tradition of pulling a “cracker” after the meal (a paper tube that two people pull, so that one end breaks) to find a small present and a paper hat inside.

But there are also a few idioms that refer to the special Christmas food and traditions. Here are ten of them for you.

Food Idioms

Idiom about turkey
be a complete turkey = when something fails badly (we also call this “a flop”)
“Did you see his last film? It was a complete turkey!”

Idioms about stuffing
to stuff up = make a lot of mistakes
“I really stuffed up the exam. I don’t think I’ll pass it.

get stuffed = rude way of refusing to do something
“My boss asked me to work late on Christmas Eve, so I told him to get stuffed!

Idiom about roast potatoes
give someone a roasting = be angry with someone and criticise them severely
“My Dad gave me a roasting for borrowing his car without asking.”

Idiom about Christmas pudding
the proof of the pudding is in the eating / the proof is in the pudding = you only know if something is good if you have experienced it
“Is this recipe any good?
“Well, the proof is in the pudding!”

Idiom about mince pies (sweet “pies” made of pastry with “mincemeat” – candied fruit)
not mince your words = speak directly – especially if you’re giving an opinion or criticising someone
“Well, Gordon doesn’t mince his words, does he! Did you hear him talking to the office junior?”

Idiom about Quality Streets (a tin of different types of wrapped chocolates that British people often share at Christmas)
be right up your street = be something that you would like
“You should go to the Christmas market. It’s right up your street with lots of artisanal food and crafts.”

Idiom about chestnut stuffing
an old chestnut = an old joke or subject that everyone has heard before
“He kept repeating that old chestnut about how Brexit would be good for the economy.”

Christmas Tradition Idioms

Idioms about Christmas crackers
cracker = something which is really good (British English)
“His new film is a cracker!”
Note: In American English, a “cracker” can mean a white person, or a white racist.

crack on with something = to proceed quickly with something
“Lets crack on with the gardening so we can get it done before lunch.”

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