eat off

eat (something) off

To erode or wear something away. A very corrosive substance must have eaten off this part of the pipe.
See also: eat, off

eat something off (of) something

 and eat something off
to erode something off a larger part. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The acidic rain ate the finish off the steeple. The acid ate off the finish.
See also: eat, off
References in classic literature ?
And so, as we have said, the iron gate leading into the kitchen-garden had been closed up and left to the rust, which bade fair before long to eat off its hinges, while to prevent the ignoble glances of the diggers and delvers of the ground from presuming to sully the aristocratic enclosure belonging to the mansion, the gate had been boarded up to a height of six feet.
As they say, you can look at the menu when you're on a diet, but you can't eat off it.
They probably also allow the snapping, spoiled pets to eat off their plates, address the animals in nauseous "baby speak" and force them into fancy dress for boorish Facebook photos.
If I wanted to eat off wood, I'd dress as a squirrel and live up a tree.
What we take in the fall is what we eat off of for the entire year.
Of course, it ignores the slight issue that most obese people do not eat off plates at a table, but directly from polystyrene trays and polythene sleeves while waddling around town.
And in Tokyo there is even a restaurant devoted to Dragon Quest where diners eat off screens showing the game.
The 37-year-old British comedian believes an egg would be perfect to eat off the football star because it needs to be "mopped up".
We would rather starve than eat off Riba," Morsi said.
This Iittala White Taika Plate with Peacock design looks so good I'd hang it on the wall rather than eat off it.
We throw food at him because he won't come out and eat off a plate.
The message is that cleanliness is next to Godliness and somehow the ability to eat off the floor of your own kitchen makes you a better person.
Most racecourses would eat off their right arm for a card like that.
Excellent books and records and kitchen clean enough to eat off the floor.
I had two goldfish called Rosie and Jim and Jim used to eat off bits of Rosie's tail when they swam round in their bowl.