meal ticket


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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. As a model, my face is my meal ticket, so I can't afford to have any blemishes!
See also: meal, ticket
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
The six meal ticket holders - Johnson, Shappi Khorsandi, Jennie McAlpine, Vanessa White, Georgia Toffolo and Becky Vardy - enjoyed dinner in Snake Rock while the remaining celebrities had rice and beans.
"But with the Sainsbury's Student Meal Ticket parents can rest assured that their kids will have funds to buy the essential food and non food items that will ensure they settle into university life with ease."
her last meal ticket close to kicking the bucket and she does not even have to now she has a new meal ticket.
And there will be a free tea to all children between four and 14 living in the area who have a meal ticket.
Hendry's 4-1 victory over Steve Davis to deny the six-time world champion a place in the semi-finals was William's meal ticket into the last four.
When the food goes down the tray line, the computer-generated meal ticket shows exactly what each resident needs and wants.
Next to making it one the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, it's the surest meal ticket around.
I'm sure my dad is just a meal ticket for this girl - there are nearly 40 years between them.
Her crimes are bad enough but not even to ask about her kids shows she saw them as nothing more than meal ticket.
It obviously means the opportunity to enable the rich to get richer, create the greatest number of fat cats ever known, MPs to enjoy record-breaking incomes and expenses, the best meal ticket ever, after all the majority are Labour MPs who have surfaced from previous obscurity.
MEAL TICKET: Dave Coltman (left) and Neil Blackhurst
until death do us part' not 'here's a meal ticket for life love'.
A NEW school meal ticket system brought in to speed up lunchtimes has caused chaos at a North Wales school.
Just as an apprenticeship would guarantee you a job, for many years a degree was a meal ticket to the career of your choice.
The suspicion remains that political time-servers see the post as a meal ticket.