How to Be a Good Egg and the Salt of the Earth

2013年08月08日 VOA, Words and Their Stories.

Read and understand the article. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.

*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


*Read the words carefully.

  1. spill /ˈspɪl/ (v.) to cause or allow (something) to fall, flow, or run over the edge of a container usually in an accidental way
  2. omelet /ˈɑ:mlət/ (n.)a dish made from eggs that are mixed together, cooked without stirring, and served folded in half often with a filling of cheese, vegetables, or meat
  3. grain /ˈgreɪn/ (n.)the seeds of plants (such as wheat, corn, and rice) that are used for food
  4. foolish /ˈfu:lɪʃ/ (adj.)having or showing a lack of good sense or judgment : stupid, silly
  5. pleasant /ˈplɛzn̩t/(adj.)causing a feeling of happiness or pleasure


How to Be a Good Egg and the Salt of the Earth

* Read the text below

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 (1)We present more expressions about food. They are from Elenir Scardueli, a listener in Brazil.

(2) My mother always told us “there is no use crying over spilled milk.” That means you should not get angry when something bad happens and cannot be changed.

(3) People said my mother was “a good egg.” She would always help anyone in need.

(4) We never had to “walk on eggshells” around her — we did not have to be careful about what we said or did because she never got angry at us.

(5) She also told us “you have to break some eggs to make an omelet.” This means you have to do what is necessary to move forward.

(6) My mother believed “you are what you eat” — a good diet is important for good health. She would always give us nutritious food. She liked serving us meat and potatoes for dinner. “Meat and potatoes” can also mean the most important part of something. It describes someone who likes simple things.

(7) Here is another expression about meat: “one man’s meat is another man’s poison.” In other words, one person might like something very much while another person might hate the same thing.

(8) My father was also a good and honest person. People said he was “the salt of the earth.” He would never “pour salt on a wound” — or make someone feel worse about something that was already a painful experience.

(9) However, sometimes he told us a story that seemed bigger than life. So we had to “take it with a grain of salt” — that is, we could not believe everything he told us.

(10) My husband has a good job. He makes enough money to support our family. So we say “he brings home the bacon.”

(11) He can “cut the mustard” — or do what is expected of him at work.

(12) It is easy to find my husband in a crowd. He stands almost two meters tall. He is “a tall drink of water.”

(13) I take the train to work. It is not a pleasant ride because the train can be full of people. It is so crowded that we are “packed like sardines” — just like small fish in a can.

(14) My supervisor at work is sometimes “out to lunch.” She is out of touch and does not always know what is going on in our office. Yet she is right about one thing: “there is no such thing as a free lunch” — something may appear to be free of charge, but there may be a hidden cost.

(15) When we fail to see problems at work, my supervisor tells us to “wake up and smell the coffee” — we need to pay more attention and fix the problem.

(16) I once made a big mistake at the office and felt foolish. I had “egg on my face.”

(17) Over the weekend, my friend invited me to watch a football game on television. But I do not like football. It is “not my cup of tea.”

(18) We hope this program has given you “food for thought” — that is, something to think about.


*Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

  1. What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘food’?
  2. When eating food, what do you consider first, the appearance, the taste or both? Why?
  3. Do you know any quotes about food or eating (that comes from your country)? Please share and explain.

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