Eating and drinking are things we do every single day, but the vocabulary available to talk about them is much richer than the obvious words we use on a regular basis. In this English vocabulary lesson, you will learn different ways to express eating and drinking in creative ways. How would you tell someone you wanted more than a snack but less than a meal? Do you know the difference between “wolfing down”, “devouring”, and “scarfing down” food? Watch the video to find out, and make sure to do the quiz afterwards to practice what you learned!
Mm, mm, eating. New Orleans is a gourmand’s dream. Oh, and I’m so hungr-…
Hi. James from engVid. I’m hungry, and I’m thinking about eating, and I’m sure you do, too. After all, eating is a natural thing. But in your experience of what you’ve been taught, I’m sure you’ve been told words like: “delicious”, “eating”, and that’s about it. Hey, the world’s a big place and a rich place, so why don’t we give you a rich vocabulary and give you, you know, some native-speaker speak on eating. Are you ready? Let’s go to the board.
So, I’m looking at a book. I’ll say… Oh, what’s this? “Time to pig out, Mr. E? It’s not time to scarf down pizza and beer. We’ve got work to do.” I’m sure you’re going: “Scarf? Why ‘scarf’?” We’ll find out. On the board, we have: “How to talk about eating”. Simple enough. Chew, swallow. No, not so simple. Like, in every country, there’s a way to speak about things, and I want to give you a good… Good introduction to our eating lexicon, which is dictionary. We’re going to go from a little to a lot. And I’ll give you the words that we might use, and explain each one, and you’ll notice there are some pictures here, so I will give you the number with each picture. Some won’t have pictures, but hey, that’s life. Suck it up, baby.
So the first one: “nibble”. I want you to imagine a mouse. [Nibbles] Do mice eat a lot? No. They eat a little bit, just a little food. Okay? Now, “nibble” can be a noun as in the amount of food you eat, or verb, and it means to eat just a little bit. Okay? And that’s our first one. “Nibble”. Think of a mouse. A mouse nibbles its food; has a little bit of food.
“Graze” is number two. “Grazing” is funny. You kind of eat a lot, but you don’t. Huh? Well, when you graze, think of cows. You see the cow: “Moo”, it’s moving through, [eating noises]; moves over here, [eating noises] moves over here. It eats a little bit of everything, or as I like to say, when I go to people’s houses and I don’t know if the food is good, I just graze. I try a little, [eating noises], and I move on. Try a little, I move on. I might stay in a place where I like that. Okay? Cows graze. Funny enough, men don’t really graze. Women graze more than men. They do it because they eat, they go: “I’m having fun, I’m enjoying myself. I’m going to try this, this, this, this, this.” Men just want to, boom, gulp it down. So, to graze is to move and eat a little bit of food at a time. We usually do this at buffets or with foods we’re not sure of, like, I’m just going to graze a bit. Okay? You see the cow? That’s Bessie, graze. So, when you see people eating a little bit of food, and moving around, and keep coming back to the same food – they’re grazing. Not really eating.
Numero uno. Uno? Did I say “uno”? See, I don’t speak Spanish. That’s why I shouldn’t. Number three: “bite”. You know a bite as, here? Yeah. Easy. Right. Oh, sorry, I should say “graze” is a verb before I forget, there. “Graze”, a verb. “Bite”, a bite. Now, notice a bite is singular in this case. “A bite” is interesting because it’s a medium amount of food, and it’s a noun. When you go for a bite, you want some food. When we talk about “nibble”, I said cheese, I should have actually said: “Think nibbling as on peanuts, chips maybe, a cookie or two”. I just want to nibble; not a lot of food. Remember the noun? When you go for a bite to eat, you want something like a hot dog. You go: “Okay, I get it.” No, no, you don’t get it. I want just a hot dog, or I want a slice of pizza, or I want a hamburger, but I don’t want a salad, I don’t want dessert, I just want something more than a nibble, more than chips, but not a full meal. I’m not… I don’t have the time or I’m not that hungry. So when you go for a bite, some people might go… They won’t even go for a doughnut, like a doughnut would be something to nibble on or just eat, but a bite would be a hamburger, hot dog, something like that. Big, but not too big, because it’s a medium amount of food. All right? So, I’m going to go for a bite. And look here, there’s a mouth. There you go. “Bite”. Don’t forget to get a bite. Okay? I might even say as an idiom: “I’m going out for a bite. Do you want something?” If you go: “Yeah, give me a salad, plus this”, I go: “Dude, I’m going for a bite. You want a meal, go by yourself. That’s way too much food.”