soup


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Related to soup: vegetable soup, chicken soup

sell (one's) birthright for a bowl of soup

To exchange something of great, important, or fundamental value for some financial gain that proves to be of little, trivial, or no value but which appears to be attractive or valuable on first reckoning. (A variant of "sell one's birthright for a mess of pottage," an allusion to Esau in Genesis 25:29–32, who sells to Jacob his birthright to his family's estate for a bowl of lentil stew (pottage).) If we allow our obsession with job creation to undermine the health of the environment, humanity will ultimately end up selling its birthright for a bowl of soup.
See also: birthright, bowl, of, sell, soup

too many cooks spoil the soup

If too many people try to control, influence, or work on something, the final product will be worse as a result. A: "We've got my boss, his boss, the assistant manager, a freelance consultant, and the head of IT all involved in this project, and it's turning into a complete disaster!" B: "Well, too many cooks spoil the soup, after all!"
See also: cook, many, soup, spoil

alphabet soup

initialisms and acronyms, especially when used excessively. The names of these government agencies are just alphabet soup. Just look at the telephone book! You can't find anything because it's filled with alphabet soup.
See also: alphabet, soup

duck soup

Fig. very easy; an easy thing to do. For Maria, knitting a sweater is duck soup. Jill: This jar is stuck. Could you open it for me? Jane: Sure. Duck soup.
See also: duck, soup

*easy as A, B, C

 and *easy as falling off a log; *easy as rolling off a log; *easy as (apple) pie; *easy as duck soup
very easy. (*Also: as ~.) If you use a cake mix, baking a cake is easy as A, B, C. Mountain climbing is as easy as pie. Finding your way to the shopping center is easy as duck soup. Getting out of jail was easy as rolling off a log.
See also: easy

everything from soup to nuts

 and everything from A to Z
Cliché almost everything one can think of. For dinner we had everything from soup to nuts. In college I studied everything from soup to nuts.
See also: everything, nuts, soup

*in the soup

Fig. in a bad situation. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~.) Now I'm really in the soup. I broke Mrs. Franklin's window. I make a lot of mistakes. It's easy for me to get into the soup.
See also: soup

Soup's on!

Rur. The meal is ready to eat. (Said for any food, not just soup.) Tom: Soup's on! Bill: The camp chef has dished up another disaster. John: soup's on! Come and get it! Mary: Well, I guess it's time to eat again.

soup something up

to increase the power of something. He souped his car up so it will do nearly 120 miles per hour. If only I could soup up this computer to run just a little faster.
See also: soup, up

souped up

made more powerful. That souped-up car of John's sure makes a lot of noise. Why do all cars driven by males under the age of twenty have to be souped up?
See also: soup, up

*thick as pea soup

[of fog] very thick. (*Also: as ~.) This fog is as thick as pea soup. You can't see ten feet in front of you.
See also: pea, soup, thick

(as) easy as A, B, C

See: (as) easy as pie
See also: easy

in the soup

experiencing a difficult situation As soon as the airlines started to make a profit, they put themselves right back in the soup with a new round of mergers.
Usage notes: often used with right back, as in the example
See also: soup

soup up something

also soup something up
to make something more powerful They had to soup up the air-conditioning to keep her computers from overheating in the summer.
Usage notes: usually used to describe an improvement to a car or other machine
See also: soup, up

be duck soup

  (American informal)
to be very easy to do Winning your case in court ought to be duck soup.
See also: duck, soup

be in the soup

  (old-fashioned)
to be in trouble This team know that if they lose on Saturday, they'll really be in the soup.
See also: soup

from soup to nuts

  (American informal)
from the beginning to the end She told us everything about the trip, from soup to nuts.
See also: nuts, soup

duck soup

An easily accomplished task or assignment, a cinch to succeed, as in Fixing this car is going to be duck soup. This expression gained currency as the title of a hilarious popular movie by the Marx Brothers (1933). The original allusion has been lost. [Early 1900s]
See also: duck, soup

from soup to nuts

Also, from A to Z or start to finish or stem to stern . From beginning to end, throughout, as in We went through the whole agenda, from soup to nuts, or She had to learn a whole new system from A to Z, or It rained from start to finish, or We did over the whole house from stem to stern. The first expression, with its analogy to the first and last courses of a meal, appeared in slightly different forms (such as from potage to cheese) from the 1500s on; the precise wording here dates only from the mid-1900s. The second expression alludes to the first and last letters of the Roman alphabet; see also alpha and omega. The third comes from racing and alludes to the entire course of the race; it dates from the mid-1800s. The last variant is nautical, alluding to the front or stem, and rear or stern, of a vessel.
See also: nuts, soup

in the soup

In trouble, as in She mailed all the checks with the wrong postage, and now she's really in the soup. [Slang; late 1800s]
See also: soup

soup up

Make something more powerful; especially, add speed to an engine. For example, He was riding around in that car he'd souped up, or They had to soup up the sound system for the outdoor concert. [Slang; c. 1930]
See also: soup, up

soup up

v. Slang
To modify something so as to increase its capacity to perform or satisfy, especially to add horsepower or greater speed potential to an engine or a vehicle: The mechanic souped the car up with racing tires and a bigger engine. I souped up my computer with a faster processor and a liquid cooling system.
See also: soup, up

alphabet soup

n. initialisms and acronyms in general. Just look at the telephone book! You can’t find anything because it’s filled with alphabet soup.
See also: alphabet, soup

cat-soup

(ˈkætsup)
n. catsup; ketchup. Do you want some cat-soup on your burger?

everything from soup to nuts

and everything from A to Z and everything but the kitchen sink
n. everything imaginable. (Colloquial.) I have everything from soup to nuts in my briefcase. He brought everything but the kitchen sink.
See also: everything, nuts, soup

in the soup

mod. in trouble. I’m in the soup with the boss.
See also: soup

laughing soup

and laughing water
n. liquor; champagne. This laughing water tickles my nose. Laughing soup flowed like fury at the reception.
See also: laugh, soup

potato soup

n. vodka. (This liquor is typically made from potatoes.) Have a bit of this potato soup, why don’t you?
See also: potato, soup

soup

n. nitroglycerin, a liquid explosive. (Underworld.) Lefty was a master with the soup till he blew off his hand.

Soup’s on!

in. Dinner is ready. Time to eat! Soup’s on!

soup sandwich

n. something impossibly messy or impossible to deal with. This whole project is just a soup sandwich. I’ll never get it straightened out.
See also: sandwich, soup

soup something up

tv. to increase the power of something. (see also souped up.) If only I could soup up this computer to run just a little faster.
See also: soup, up

souped up

mod. made more powerful. Why do all cars driven by males under the age of twenty have to be souped up?
See also: soup, up

soup-strainer

n. a mustache. Jerry had a big bushy soup-strainer that he was very proud of.

in the soup

Slang
Having difficulties; in trouble.
See also: soup

duck soup

Easy to accomplish. The first appearance of the phrase was in a 1902 newspaper cartoon that had nothing to do with ducks. Not then and not now has anybody been able to suggest a likely derivation. If you're interested in an expression that makes sense, try the equivalent, “as easy as falling off a log.”
See also: duck, soup
References in classic literature ?
I shall leave you the saucepan, and pour your soup into that.
The turnkey poured his ration of soup into it, together with the fish -- for thrice a week the prisoners were deprived of meat.
None of them who squatted on the sloping gas-padded partition, soup mug in hand, seemed really guilty of anything of the sort, seemed really capable of hurting a dog wantonly.
Bert was crumbling the last of his bread into the last of his soup, eking it out as long as possible, when suddenly he became aware that every one was looking at a pair of feet that were dangling across the downturned open doorway.
I'm making bone soup, sir, and wondering why I ever went to sea.
A nasty lopp of a sea came on at dinner-time, and I began to feel queer the moment the soup was put on the table.
wailed Button-Bright again; and Toto began to whine dismally, as if he didn't want to be soup, either.
That object is, to be fed on turtle soup and venison with a gold spoon.
He likewise entertained his guest over the soup and fish, with the calculation that he (Bounderby) had eaten in his youth at least three horses under the guise of polonies and saveloys.
If your philosophical philanthropy,' said the landlady, putting down her work, and rising to take the stranger's soup from her husband, who appeared with it at a side door, 'puts anybody at the mercy of such people by holding terms with them at all, in words or deeds, or both, take it away from the Break of Day, for it isn't worth a sou.
As she placed the soup before the guest, who changed his attitude to a sitting one, he looked her full in the face, and his moustache went up under his nose, and his nose came down over his moustache.
The traveller's soup was succeeded by a dish of meat, and that by a dish of vegetables.
Mr friend Mr Bounderby could never see any difference between leaving the Coketown 'hands' exactly as they were, and requiring them to be fed with turtle soup and venison out of gold spoons.
The loaf I'll fetch you this very minute, but wouldn't you rather have some cabbage soup instead of sausage?
When the soup had been brought, and he had begun upon it, Nastasya sat down beside him on the sofa and began chatting.