Dairy products are types of food that are made from the milk of animals such as cows, goats, and sheep.

FUN FACT – The place where the dairy products are made is also called ‘a dairy’.

Right, shall we begin? Let’s learn some idioms and expressions with common dairy products.

butter sayings

Butter is a hard block of fat that is made by churning milk or cream. It’s used in baking and tasted great on toast or in sandwiches.
HOT TIP – Sometimes, us lazy Brits don’t pronounce the ‘double t’ properly. We pronounce it using the glottal stop. Not sure what that is? You can find out here.

butter idioms and sayings

bread and butter

meaning – work that provides the main income
example – Our bread and butter is a big wad of inheritance left to me by my great aunt.

bread idioms and sayings - bread and butter

butter someone up

meaning – be nice to someone as you want to ask them a favour or tell them bad news
example – I’ll buy my teacher an expensive box of chocolates. If I butter him up maybe he won`t fail me.

butter idioms and sayings - butter someone up

know which side one’s bread is buttered

meaning – someone knows what to do/say to get an advantage
example – Danny knows which side of his bread is buttered, he’ll get the promotion.

bread expressions - know which side of one's bread is buttered

like butter wouldn’t melt (in someone’s mouth)

meaning – someone gives the impression of being sweet and innocent
example – My kids look like butter wouldn’t melt, but they’re little devils.

butter idioms and sayings - like butter wouldn't melt

cheese expressions

Hands up who loves cheese? Me for sure, in fact, it’s one of my favourite foods. Cheese is a dairy product made from milk curds. It can be hard or soft and sweet or savoury.

cheese idioms

big cheese

meaning – a very important person
example – The big cheese is coming tomorrow. Please make sure you arrive on time.

cheese idioms and expressions - - big cheese

cheese someone off/be cheesed off

meaning – annoyed My sister has cheesed me off.
example – She wore my red dress and broke the zip.

cheese idioms and expressions - - cheese off

like chalk and cheese

meaning – emphasizing two things are totally different
example – We are like chalk and cheese, but we are best friends.

cheese idioms and expressions - like chalk and cheese


meaning – cheap, low quality, silly, a cliché
example – We went to a cheesy club on Saturday, the drinks were really cheap.

cheese idioms and expressions - cheesy

cream sayings

Cream is the thick white liquid which rises to the top of milk. It’s great for sweet and savoury food.

cream idioms and sayings

cream of the crop

meaning – the best of a group
example – The apples used to make this cider are the cream of the crop.

cream idioms and sayings - cream of the crop

cream rises to the top

meaning – the best person/idea will always be recognised in the end
example – Tucker cheated and won the race. I’ll win next time; cream always rises to the top.

cream idioms and sayings - cream rises to the top

like the cat that got the cream

meaning – be very pleased with yourself
example – Seb is like the cat that got the cream now he is dating Sophie.

cream idioms and sayings - like the cat that got the cream

milk expressions

Milk is the white liquid which comes out of the female mammal’s glands with the purpose of feeding their young.

HOT TIP – The ‘l’ in milk is silent, click here to find out about silent letters that we have in English.

milk idioms and expressions

don’t cry over spilt milk

meaning – don’t be upset about something that has already happened/something you can’t change
example – I failed my exam. There’s no use crying over spilt milk, I can re-sit next year.

milk idioms and expressions - don’t cry over spilt milk

milk it

meaning – pretend to remain sick/hurt to continue getting the benefits
example – My sister has milked it all week, she’s only got a cough but had 5 days off school.

milk idioms and expressions - milk it