Hey there, this is Teacher Ola Podcast episode 58: Fruit Idioms You Need to Know. Vocabulary Booster.

My name’s Ola and I teach English through online lessons. I’ve overcome a massive language blockade myself and now I help you do the same.

In this podcast you’ll boost your vocabulary, brush up your grammar, improve your pronunciation,  Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Happy learning!

Hello again, thank you for being here. In today’s episode you’ll learn or revise seven fruit idioms everybody should know. Today our main focus is on vocabulary, but pronunciation is something I’ll always draw your attention to so this is definitely going to be highlighted, as always. 

Repeat out loud. All the idioms, all the example sentences and make your own. I’ll give you extra time, I’ll tell you when it’s going to be the time for you to come up with a completely new example. 

It’s kind of a novelty in this podcast, I’ve done it before but just once, I want you to be active. So be actie, that’s how we’re going to achieve our goal. Eliminate blockade and start speaking fearlessly, right? It can’t be done without you speaking out loud. Be patient with yourself. Idioms are usually hard to remember, so feel free to come back to this episode but first and foremost – download the worksheet. See if you can use the fruit idioms from this episode in your sentences. The worksheet is free, grab it at teacherola.com/58. This will help to refresh the idioms. 

Let’s now move on to seven fruit idioms:

  • To go bananas

To become very angry or very excited. Irrational. Crazy. I’m guessing it’s similar and sort of close to ‘to go apes’. Apes are monkeys, which in fact are associated with bananas. So, ‘to go apes’ was first, and then it developed into ‘to go bananas’. 

For example:

My mum went bananas when I told her I was going to ditch school.

The crowd went bananas when the players appeared on the pitch.

If you try to ask him what happened, he’s going to go bananas.

Now make your own sentence with ‘go bananas’.  Wo hu! Well done. 

  • Top banana and second banana

Let’s begin with top banana. It’s a person with the most influence, power, authority in a given group, or in an organisation. The boss. The person in charge. Top dog is a synonym, but it originates in sports. Top banana comes from show business, a burlesque comedy show from the early 1990’. Top banana was first and it gave raise to second banana, for a supporting actor. So as you can guess, second banana is someone who has a secondary role in a gfroup or an organisation. Someone who serves the boss. Next most important person, or next most popular person. 

For example:

I’ve been second banana in this company for far too long.

I always play second banana to him.

Do you know this actor? He always plays second banana.

Sorry, top banana didn’t give us the green light. 

Make your own sentence with top banana or second banana


  • Apples and oranges

I know apples and oranges are fruit. But they differ a lot, don’t they? They’re totally different. In terms of taste, colour, smell. You peel them differently, you use them for various different things, recipes. So! apples and oranges are two unlike objects, things. In the XVIIth century they used to say ‘apples and oysters’ Two completely different categories that should never be compared. Listen and repeat:

Don’t compare these two companies, they’re apples and oranges!

This discussion is pointless, it’s like comparing apples to oranges.

Suits and dresses are apples and oranges to me. 

OK, your turn. What’s apples and oranges to you?

  • As cool as a cucumber

It’s slang and it means that even when the times are tough, the situation is stressful, you’re able to stay calm and composed. In control. Unflappable. Why? Why cucumber? Well, due to the fact that it mainly consists of water it’s got the ability to stay cool. That’s just it. Cucumbers are cool, maybe not cold, but cool. Cool means relaxed, and there you have it. Easy-going cucumbers. 

Listen and repeat:

She was as cool as a cucumber even though the whole office was hectic.

Everybody was rushing around, trying to get things done, but not him. He was as cool as a cucumber. /x2

My friend! Time to think about a person who is able to stay calm when things get messy. Who is a cool cucumber? Think about your friends, family, colleagues. Say their name in a sentence. A person who’s as cool as a cucumber is… ?

  • The apple of your eye

If you’re the apple of somebody’s eye, you’re a lucky person because you are loved very much! This phrase has biblical origin. I will actually quote one psalm from a Bible for you now: “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings”. There you go, this is the origin of this idiom. Eye is a precious part of a body, and the eye’s pupil is the center of it. Let’s practice by listening, remembering and then saying out loud the sentences:

He’s new car is the apple of his eye.

She’s the apple of her daddy’s eye.

You’ve always been the apple of my eye.

Ok, so, who’s the apple of your eye? Make a sentence.

  • Cherry-pick

It’s choosing only the best things. to select the most desirable examples. To choose carefully, to make sure you’ve picked only the best option available. 

Repeat example sentences:

You’ll get to cherry-pick the equipment.

We have to cherry-pick the wood for the furniture. 

When it comes to books for my little son, I always cherry-pick.

  •  Peaches and cream

It’s got two meanings. The first one is simply a colour, an adjective. You can use it to describe skin with pink colour. Smooth, pale skin with light, pink cheeks. The other meaning, more interesting I think, is a situation that has no trouble, no problems. Use it when things are going exceptionally well. 

Repeat the sentences.

He promised her that life will be peaches and cream.

Our marriage was on the rocks last year, but recently it’s been peaches and cream. 

Ok, what’s your example sentence? Say it out loud right now. A sentence with ‘peaches and cream’ and them publish it as a comment at teacherola.com/58. I’d love to read all your examples really. Please, post at least one example sentence. Ok, what’s your sentence? Peaches and cream?

Well done! It was the last idiom for today. Now, it’s time to download the worksheet and do your homework. Practice translating Polish sentences with Polish equivalents of fruit idioms into English. Good luck! teacherola.com/58.

Share this episode with someone you think might need it. 

Next week we’re going to explain song lyrics. What song? I still can’t choose! Let me know which artist do you prefer? Shania Twain or Tina Turner? Let me know in a comment at teacherola.com/58. Till then have a great week, happy learning, bye-bye!