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Foodie wisdom: 10 Portuguese sayings inspired in food – Part I

Man crying

Do you know when to use the expression ‘ate like an abbot’? Or why you should not ‘swallow frogs’ or ‘cry over spilt milk’? Here’s the meaning of very typical Portuguese expressions around food.

We, Portuguese, confess: we are addicted to good food and popular sayings! Believe it when we say that there’s a popular expression or a saying applied to any situation. Do not believe it? Take note:

  1. Have the knife and cheese on your hand: When someone has everything he needs to solve something, to have an advantage.
  2. Swap garlic for pears: Getting confused, confuse something similar.
  3. Bread bread, cheese cheese: When something is very clear, without any doubt.
  4. Head of old garlic: Distracted person. Expression similar to “(Someone) with their head in the clouds”.
  5. Eat like an abbot: Eating too much, be satisfied with a meal. Expression similar to “Eat like a king”.
  6. Crying over spilt milk: Whining for something that has no solution.
  7. Swallow frogs: To do something upset, against the will. Equivalent to “Bite the bullet”.
  8. To be with olive oils: Being annoyed or upset about something. Equivalent to “Get your knickers in a twist” or “Get your panties in a bunch”.
  9. Done to the steak: You’re screwed up. Equivalent to “be in a pickle”.
  10. Many years turning chickens: Have much experience. Equivalent to “This isn’t my first rodeo”.

Man posing in front of a painting