Food: A Dictionary of Literal and Nonliteral Terms

By Robert A. Palmatier | Go to book overview

U

UGLI FRUIT

See Mandarin Orange.


UNCORK A WILD PITCH

See Pop Your Cork.


UPPER CRUST

the upper crust. The highest class of society: the elite; the aristocracy. MWCD: 1836. Source: CRUST. MWCD: 14th cent. The crust is the exterior of a loaf of baked bread or the pastry shell of a baked pie, and there is some question as to whether the metaphor derives from bread crust or pie crust. If it comes from bread crust, it refers either to the attractive appearance of the top of the loaf or to the fact that the upper crust once preferred to eat only the top half, which was sliced off by the servants. (Nowadays, the favored part of the bread is the soft insides, without any crust at all, used for finger sandwiches and fussy children.) If, however, the metaphor comes from pie crust, it is the visible top crust that is being referred to, the one that bears no weight but sits on the other ingredients. (The upper crust of pie, as opposed to the bottom crust, is also sometimes decorated with attractive air vents or latticing.) Of the two Brit. dictionaries in the Works Cited that express an opinion on this subject, BDPF supports the bread, whereas CI supports the pie as a metaphor for the English population: the upper crust representing the upper class, the lower crust the lower class, and the filling the middle class. DAI; DEI; DC; EWPO; HND. See also Crust.


UPSET THE APPLECART

to upset the applecart. To ruin someone’s carefully laid plans. MWCD: 1788. Source: APPLE. MWCD: O.E. An applecart was once a pushcart in which fresh apples were displayed for sale in the tray on top. In the 19th and early-20th cents., vendors of apples in the streets of large cities were the frequent victims of juvenile pranksters who amused themselves by tipping

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Food: A Dictionary of Literal and Nonliteral Terms
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Preface xi
  • Abbreviations and Symbols xiii
  • A 1
  • B 13
  • C 47
  • D 95
  • E 110
  • F 123
  • G 148
  • H 166
  • I 187
  • J 196
  • K 201
  • L 207
  • M 224
  • N 249
  • O 256
  • P 264
  • Q 296
  • R 297
  • S 307
  • T 356
  • U 378
  • V 380
  • W 384
  • Y 394
  • Z 399
  • About the Author 463
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