meal

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Related to Meals: Meals on Wheels

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.
See also: few, fries, happy, meal, of, short

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.
See also: Meal, on, Wheel

meal ticket

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!
See also: meal, ticket

square meal

A wholesome, nutritious meal. The hot lunch program at school provides square meals for underprivileged children.
See also: meal, square

enjoy your meal

An expression said by a server upon serving food in a restaurant. Here's the pasta for you, and the salmon for you, sir. Enjoy your meal.
See also: enjoy, meal

make a meal (out) of (something)

1. To prepare and eat some food and consider it a full meal, even though it may not resemble a traditional meal. I haven't had a chance to go to the grocery store, but we can probably make a meal out of whatever's left in the fridge. Back in college, we often made a meal of crackers and peanut butter—it was all we could afford!
2. To do more work than is necessary when completing some task. I just need a rough summary of the numbers for the report—don't make a meal out of it.
See also: make, meal, of

looking like a whole meal

slang Looking very physically attractive or appealing. The phrase is a humorous escalation of the slang term "looking like a snack." He's just standing over there, looking like a whole meal—you should go talk to him. Ooh girl, I hope you're ready to get hit on cause you're looking like a whole meal tonight!
See also: like, look, meal, whole

meals rejected by Ethiopians

A false, humorous expansion of the initialism MRE, which actually stands for "meal ready to eat," a (typically military) food ration pack that requires no further preparation. The joke is that the food is so unpleasant that even someone who is starving would reject it. The association of Ethiopians with starvation could be considered offensive. After 12 long months eating meals rejected by Ethiopians, I'm ready to get back to home-cooked meals.
See also: by, meal, reject

meals rejected by the enemy

A false, humorous expansion of the initialism MRE, which actually stands for "meal ready to eat" (a military ration pack that requires no further preparation). The joke is that the food is so unpleasant that it had been discarded by the enemy before being repackaged for one's own consumption. After 12 long months eating meals rejected by the enemy, I'm ready to get back to home-cooked meals in my own home.
See also: by, enemy, meal, reject

out to (some meal)

Away from one's normal location to eat a particular meal. Do you want to go out to brunch tomorrow? Sorry, the boss is out to lunch right now. Can I leave a message?
See also: out

square

1. adjective, slang Dull, conventional, or unfashionable; not inclined to do fun, risky, or unconventional things. God, when did I become so square? I used to love going out on a Friday night, but now I'd rather just stay home and read. It's inevitable that your kids are going to think you're square, so it's no use resisting it or trying to change their minds.
2. noun, slang A dull, conventional, or unfashionable person; someone who is not inclined to do fun, risky, or unconventional things. All the kids in this school are squares, you know? Back in my old school, we used to do all sorts of wild things! I know you think I'm a square, but I've got actual responsibilities that I have to deal with.
3. noun A filling and nutritious meal. It was a tough place to live, but at least we always got three squares a day.
4. noun, slang A cigarette. Hey, man, could I bum a square off ya? A key part of being a waiter was always figuring out when to slip outside for a square or two.

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.
See also: enjoy, 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?
See also: make, meal, of

square (meal)

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.

meal ticket

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]
See also: meal, ticket

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

make a meal of something

or

make a meal out of something

mainly BRITISH
If someone makes a meal of something or makes a meal out of it, they spend too much time or energy on it. He's only been asked to write a brief essay but he's making such a meal of it. Only spend an hour or so on the task — don't make a meal out of it.
See also: make, meal, of, something

a meal ticket

If you describe something or someone as a meal ticket, you mean that they are a way of getting all the money that you need throughout your life. A degree has never been a meal ticket, but the recession is making life for graduates tougher than ever. He was wealthy. I think she saw him as a life-long meal ticket.
See also: meal, ticket

a square meal

A square meal is a large, healthy meal that makes you feel you have eaten enough. The troops were tired and hadn't had a square meal for five days. Do you survive on yogurt at lunchtime while your partner wants a square meal? Note: On sailing ships in the past, sailors ate off square wooden plates.
See also: meal, square

make a meal of

treat a task or occurrence with more attention or care than necessary, especially for effect. British informal
1961 Colin Willock Death in Covert Dyson… was making a meal of everything. He had carefully paced the distance…He had stuck sticks in the ground.
See also: make, meal, of

make a ˈmeal of/out of something

(informal) do something with more effort and care than it really needs; treat something as more serious than it really is: Just write her a short note — don’t make a meal of it.It’s only a small mistake. There’s no need to make such a meal out of it, is there? OPPOSITE: make nothing of something (1)
See also: make, meal, of, out, something

a ˈmeal ticket

(informal) a person or thing that you see only as a source of money and food: He suspected that he was just a meal ticket for her.I hoped the guitar would become my meal ticket.
See also: meal, ticket

a square ˈmeal

a large and satisfying meal: The children get three square meals a day.
See also: meal, 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.”
See also: by, meal, reject

square

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).

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 also: meal, square

square

verb

meal ticket

A source of financial support, particularly from one of the opposite sex. This transfer from a literal ticket that entitles one to a meal in a restaurant or other facility took place around 1900. At first it was used mainly for a sugar daddy, but in time it was broadened. Thus on May 22, 1949, the New York Times had it, “Man and Superman [the play] . . . is the title of [actor] Maurice Evans’ current meal ticket.”
See also: meal, ticket

square meal, a

A substantial and nourishing repast. A mid-nineteenth-century Americanism, the term appears in humorist Stephen Leacock’s Literary Lapses (1910): “Any two meals at a boarding-house are together less than two square meals.”
See also: square
References in classic literature ?
She saw no more of Rokoff that day, nor of any other until Sven came with her evening meal. She tried to draw him into conversation relative to his plans to aid her, but all that she could get from him was his stereotyped prophecy as to the future state of the wind.
With this he departed, an easy victor, and again went whistling on his way, while the three outlaws rubbed the meal out of their eyes and began to catch their breath again.
He filled us so full of meal that I shall sweat meal for a week.
Instantly a great cloud of meal filled the air, whereby we could neither see nor breathe; and in the midst of this cloud he vanished like a wizard."
If I am not much mistook thou hast somewhat in the bottom of that fat sack of meal. Good Arthur, empty the bag upon the ground; I warrant thou wilt find a shilling or two in the flour."
"Alas!" cried the Miller, falling upon his knees, "spoil not all my good meal! It can better you not, and will ruin me.
I thought that I smelled gold and silver beneath the barley meal. Bring it straight forth, Miller."
He looked to see how much meal was left in the chest, and seemed dissatisfied--"You'll likely be moving on again?" said he to Pigling Bland.
Piperson returned, he found Pigling sitting before the fire; he had brushed up the hearth and put on the pot to boil; the meal was not get-at-able.
Piperson was very affable; he slapped Pigling on the back, made lots of porridge and forgot to lock the meal chest.
In the case to which I have referred, where the family sat down to the table for the meal at which I was their guest, I could see plainly that this was an awkward and unusual proceeding, and was done in my honour.
The noon meal and the supper were taken in much the same way as the breakfast.
Many a good meal I got in this fashion, while he scolded and chattered vainly at me.
When the boy had torn the steaming carcass across and cooled it, Jerry's meal began; nor did the meal cease till the last sliver of meat had been stripped and tongued from the bones and the bones crunched and crackled to fragments and swallowed.
While he hammered away at his metals the Dog slept; but when, on the other hand, he went to dinner and began to eat, the Dog woke up and wagged his tail, as if he would ask for a share of his meal. His master one day, pretending to be angry and shaking his stick at him, said, "You wretched little sluggard!