soup

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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

1. Literally, a soup that contains noodles shaped like the letters of the alphabet. I used to love alphabet soup when I was a kid.
2. By extension, an incoherent or disorganized mix (typically of letters or abbreviations). All of these acronyms in the manual have started to look like alphabet soup.
See also: alphabet, soup

be duck soup

slang To be very easy. Primarily heard in US. Oh please, I've been playing guitar for 20 years—that song is duck soup.
See also: duck, soup

be in the soup

To be in trouble or experiencing difficulties. The company will officially be in the soup if it loses money again this quarter. I was in the soup after I dented my mom's brand-new car.
See also: soup

duck soup

slang Very easy. Oh please, I've been playing guitar for 20 years—that song is duck soup.
See also: duck, soup

everything from soup to nuts

Nearly everything one can reasonably imagine; many different things, often to the point of excess or redundancy. After the bank foreclosed on our house, we had to pack up everything from soup to nuts into our truck and drive across the state to my mother's house. We were only going to be camping for two nights, but she still insisted on bringing everything from soup to nuts along with us.
See also: everything, nuts, soup

(from) soup to nuts

From the very beginning to the very end. (Refers to a once-traditional full course meal, beginning with soup and ending with a dessert of nuts.) OK, let's go over the plan again, from soup to nuts. Soup to nuts, this has to be the most interesting and engaging book I've every read.
See also: nuts, soup

soup-to-nuts

Providing for the full range; with the beginning to the end in mind. (Used before a noun.) The organization is taking a soup-to-nuts approach to tackling food waste, from food producer, to restaurants, to consumers at home. They're offering soup-to-nuts services, covering all manner of technical issues for businesses.

in the soup

In trouble. We're going to be in the soup if we don't deliver this on time.
See also: soup

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

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

in the soup

OLD-FASHIONED
If someone or something is in the soup, they are in trouble. She's landed herself in the soup again with her unwise remarks. A recession could put oil markets right back in the soup.
See also: soup

alphabet soup

incomprehensible or confusing language, typically containing many abbreviations or symbols. informal
The expression alludes to a kind of clear soup containing pasta in the form of letters.
2000 Montreal Mirror Like the IMF, WB, WTO and the rest of the alphabet soup, the FTAA is yet another engine of global capital.
See also: alphabet, soup

duck soup

an easy task, or someone easy to overcome. North American informal
See also: duck, soup

from soup to nuts

from beginning to end; completely. North American informal
Soup is likely to feature as the first course of a formal meal, while a selection of nuts may be offered as the final one.
See also: nuts, soup

in the soup

in trouble. informal
See also: soup

be in the ˈsoup

,

land yourself/somebody in the ˈsoup

(informal) be in, or get yourself or somebody into, trouble or difficulties: If we don’t get paid soon, we’ll be in the soup.I’ve really landed myself in the soup this time; I’ve crashed my father’s car.
See also: soup

from ˌsoup to ˈnuts

(American English, informal) from beginning to end: She told me the whole story from soup to nuts.
This refers to a long meal that often begins with soup and ends with nuts.
See also: nuts, soup

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: something, 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