Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES. We received a list of expressions about food from Elenir Scardueli, a listener from Brazil.
Today we will talk about some good things to eat. If something is new and improved, we say it is the best thing since sliced bread. In the past, bread was only sold in loaves in baked goods stores. Today, American supermarkets sell sliced bread in plastic bags. Many people thought this was easier because you did not have to cut the bread yourself. The person who makes the most money in a family is called the breadwinner.
Bread and butter issues are those that are most important to Americans and affect them directly – like jobs and health care.
Half a loaf is better than none means that getting part of what you want is better than getting nothing at all. If you know which side your bread is buttered on, then you know what your best interests are and will act to protect them.
Many Americans like their bread toasted. Toast is cooked with dry heat until it starts to turn brown. But you are in big trouble if someone tells you you're toast.
If you say something is a piece of cake, it means something is really easy, like a test you take in school. Cakes are often covered with a sweet topping, called icing. Icing on the cake means something good that happens in addition to another good thing. Another expression says you can't have your cake and eat it, too. This means you cannot have everything your way, especially if two wishes oppose each other.
Hotcakes are also called pancakes. They contain flour, eggs, milk and baking powder. You cook them in a frying pan and eat them with fruit or a sweet topping. If a new product is popular and selling well, you might say it is selling like hotcakes.
But if a friend of yours did something bad, you might stop being friends with him immediately or drop him like a hotcake.
Flat as a pancake describes something that is, well, really flat.
A tough cookie is not something you want to eat. It is a person who is difficult to deal with, and would do anything necessary to get what he or she wants. This person could be a sharp cookie or someone who is not easily fooled. Very often things do not go the way we planned. Instead of getting angry or sad, you might just accept it and say that's the way the cookie crumbles.
Many pies are also good to eat. If something is easy to do, you could say it is easy as pie. But if you do something wrong or bad, you might have to apologize and show you are sorry. In other words, you might have to eat humble pie.
If you have an idea or plan that is not really possible, someone might say it is pie in the sky. If something is really easy to do, you might say it is like taking candy from a baby. But that would not be a very nice thing to do!
This program was written by Shelley Gollust. I'm Faith Lapidus. You can find more WORDS AND THEIR STORIES at our website, voaspecialenglish.com.
1.sliced v. 切成薄片；分配
a sliced white loaf.
2.toast vt. 烤；敬酒；使暖和
Toast the bread lightly on both sides.
3.topping n. 糕点上的装饰配料；构成顶部的东西；除顶部；修剪树稍
a non-dairy whipped topping
今天我们来谈谈一些好吃的东西，如果某样东西又新又不错，那就可以说是“有史以来最好的东西”(the best thing since sliced bread)。过去烘焙店里卖面包只卖整块的，如今美国超市卖切片的，装在塑料袋里 。很多人觉得这样很方便，不用自己切面包 。一个家庭里挣钱最多的人叫做养家糊口者(breadwinner) 。
民生问题(Bread and butter issues)对美国人来说是很重要的东西，直接关系每个人，比如就业和医疗。
聊胜于无(Half a loaf is better than none)意思是得到想要东西的一部分总比什么都没有强。如果你知道你的面包的那一面涂了黄油，那么你就值得自己最佳利益所在，而且会行动起来保护它们 。
许多美国人喜欢吃烤面包，烤面包是将面包干热，直到变褐色为止。但如果有人告诉你you're toast，那么你就有麻烦了 。
如果你说某件事小菜一碟(a piece of cake)，意思是这件事轻而易举，好比在学校参加考试。蛋糕上面总有一层甜的装饰配料，称作糖衣 。锦上添花(Icing on the cake)意思是好上加好 。另一个表达是说鱼与熊掌不可兼得(you can't have your cake and eat it) 。意思是你不可能什么都得到，尤其是对于两件相反的愿望来说 。
热蛋糕也叫做煎饼，里面有面粉、鸡蛋、牛奶和烘焙粉。在煎锅里做煎饼，配着水果或糖衣一起吃 。如果一种新产品很抢手，那就可以说很热销(selling like hotcakes) 。
如果你的朋友做了坏事，你就可以立即与他中断朋友关系(drop him like a hotcake)。
像煎饼一样平(Flat as a pancake)说的是一样东西非常非常平。
A tough cookie说的不是一件你想吃的东西，而是说胡搅蛮缠的人，他会为了达到目的不择手段。这个人可能是a sharp cookie(很难骗的人) 。很多事情并不是你所预料到的 。除了愤怒和伤心，你只能接受它，因为这就是生活(that's the way the cookie crumbles) 。
各种派也非常好吃，如果某事很容易办成，你可以说易如反掌(easy as pie)。但如果你做了错事或坏事，你必须得道歉 。换句话说，你需要忍气吞声(eat humble pie) 。
如果你有一个不切实际的想法或计划，那么别人会说它是遥不可及的事情(pie in the sky)。如果一件事非常好办，你可以说它是易如反掌(taking candy from a baby)，但这样做却是不对的哦 。