Terms belonging to cuisine applied to man under different circumstances: Sometimes he is well basted; he boils with rage, is baked with heat, and burns with love or jealousy. Sometimes he is buttered and well buttered; he is often cut up, devoured with a flame, and done brown. We dress his jacket for him; sometimes he is eaten up with care; sometimes he is fried. We cook his goose for him, and sometimes he makes a goose of himself. We make a hash of him, and at times he makes a hash of something else. He gets into hot water, and sometimes into a mess. Is made into mincemeat, makes mincemeat of his money, and is often in a pickle. We are often asked to toast him, sometimes he gets well roasted, is sometimes set on fire, put into a stew, or is in a stew no one knows why. A “soft” is half-baked, one severely handled is well peppered, to falsify accounts is to salt them, wit is Attic salt, and an exaggerated statement must be taken cum grano salis. A pert young person is a sauce box, a shy lover is a spoon, a rich father has to fork out, and is sometimes dished of his money.
ii. Connected with foods and drinks.
A conceited man does not think small beer (or small potatoes) of himself, and our mouth is called a potato-trap. A simpleton is a cake, a gudgeon, and a pigeon. Some are cool as a cucumber, others hot as a quail. A chubby child is a little dumpling. A man or woman may be a cheese or duck. A courtesan is called a mutton, and a large coarse hand is a mutton fist. A greedy person is a pig, a fat one is a sausage, and a shy one, if not a sheep, is certainly sheepish; while a Lubin casts sheep's eyes at his lady-love. A coward is chicken -hearted, a fat person is crummy, and a cross one is crusty, while an aristocrat belongs to the upper crust of society. A yeoman of the guards is a beef-eater, a soldier a red herring, a policeman a lobster, and a stingy, ill-tempered old man is a crab. A walking advertiser between two boards is a sandwich. An alderman
in his chair is a turkey hung with sausages. Two persons resembling each other are like as two peas. A chit is a mere sprat, a delicate maiden a tit-bit, and a colourless countenance is called a whey—face. “How now? ... Where got ye that whey-face?”
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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