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Related to meal: meal plan
cat in the meal-tub
obsolete A surprise attack or ambush; a hidden or unseen danger. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. Many people want to legalize marijuana but are in denial of the cats in the meal-tub that may come with doing so. The young political candidate waited like a cat in a meal-tub for his rival's sordid history to come to public attention.
See also: cat
a few fries short of a Happy Meal
A pejorative phrase meaning not very intelligent or of questionable mental capacity. It can appear in many different forms and variations (for example: a few bricks shy of a load, a few cards shy of a full deck, etc.). Every time Paul tells me about his latest conspiracy theory, I can't help thinking that he's a few fries short of a Happy Meal.
Meals on Wheels
A program that organizes food delivery to the elderly, ill, and other people who cannot leave their homes or cook for themselves. Before he went into a nursing home, my grandfather got food delivered to him by Meals on Wheels.
A person or thing used to provide permanent financial income. This new business was supposed to be my meal ticket, but it's costing me more money than I'm making. I'm a model, so my face is my meal ticket, and I can't afford to have a blemish!
A wholesome, nutritious meal. The hot lunch program at school provides square meals for underprivileged children.
Enjoy your meal,
an expression used by food servers after the food has been served. The waiter set the plates on the table, smiled, and said, "Enjoy your meal." Waiter: Here's your dinner. Jane: Oh, this lobster looks lovely! Tom: My steak looks just perfect. Waiter: Enjoy your meal.
make a meal of something
1. to eat something. The cat made a meal of the fish. They made a meal of the roast beef and enjoyed it very much.
2. to eat enough of something to consider it or have it as a full meal. I really don't want to make a meal of lettuce alone. Can we make a meal of this turkey, or should we save some for sandwiches?
a good and nutritious meal. (Always with quantifier when square is used without meal.) I need three squares a day—at least. The old beggar looks like he could use a square meal.
a few fries short of a Happy Meal
not very intelligent I could tell he was a few fries short of a Happy Meal, but unfortunately you can't arrest someone for being stupid.
Usage notes: this idiom appears in many different forms, including a few cards short of a full deck, a few bricks short of a full load, a few clowns short of a circus, and a few Cokes short of a six-pack, all with the same meaning
a meal ticket
someone or something that you use as a way of getting regular amounts of money for the rest of your life Gone are the days when a university degree was a meal ticket for life.
make a meal (out) of something(British & Australian)
to spend more time or energy doing something than is necessary I only asked her to write a brief summary of the main points but she made a real meal out of it.
a square meal
a big meal that provides your body with all the different types of food it needs to stay healthy Most of these supermodels don't look like they've had a square meal in their life. If you're only eating a chocolate bar for lunch you need a good square meal in the evening.
A person or thing depended on as a source of income, as in Magic Johnson was a real meal ticket for his team, or Her interpersonal skills will be her meal ticket when she goes into sales. This metaphoric expression alludes to the earlier practice of handing out tickets that entitle their holder to a meal. [Early 1900s]
square meal, a
A substantial or complete meal, as in These airlines never feed you; I haven't had a square meal on one yet. [Mid-1800s]
See also: square
meals rejected by Ethiopians
n. military rations, MRE = meal ready to eat. (Cruelly designated at a time when Ethiopians where starving to death. Implying that not even starving humans would eat MREs. That said, it is also known that such rations have been rejected by hungry people who desire more familiar food.) The reporter was embarrassed to describe the MREs as “meals rejected by Ethiopians.”
1. mod. old-fashioned; law-abiding; stodgy. Man, you are really square.
2. n. a person who behaves properly. You are a square if I ever saw one.
3. and square joint n. a tobacco cigarette, compared to a marijuana cigarette. I’ll take a reefer. I’ve heard that square joints will give you cancer.
4. tv. to settle or to make something right. Will twenty bucks square the matter?
5. Go to square (meal).
n. a good and nutritious meal. (Always with quantifier when square is used without meal.) I need three squares a day—at least. The old soak looks like he could use a square meal.
See square meal