Tea or tea, or tee? Mmm...

Updated: Oct 6, 2019


I was meeting new people today and handing out my QueenBea Tea and started thinking about the number of ways we use the word ‘tea’ in English. Let me explain:

  • Tea– a hot drink we all enjoy. For those of us with an Anglo background, we often add a little milk.

  • Afternoon Tea– enjoying a biscuit or cake and a cup of tea or coffee in the middle of the afternoon, usually between 3 and 4pm. Also known as afternoon tea.

  • Tea– meaning dinner. Perhaps this is not so common now, but when I was growing up my mother always called us to the table for dinner at around 6pm saying ‘tea’s ready!’.

  • Tee - the little piece of wood or plastic that the golf ball sits on when a player plays the first stroke of a new hole. Also called 'teeing off'.

‘It’s not my cup of tea’– I say this when I am not enjoying something much, or not very good at it.

Sailing is not my cup of tea as I usually get sea-sick.

'To spill the tea' - when someone is going to reveal the drama or gossip. Often used by

Gen Y.

Did you hear what happened to Suzie? Listen while I spill the tea.

'Down to a T' - when someone knows something to perfection, they have practised it so much. They know it inside out. Nothing is left undone.

That job suits her down to a T. Or, She's got her speech down to a T.

‘A storm in a teacup’– is when someone is making a story or situation seem a lot bigger than it really is. People have become worried or upset about something that is not important.

She was making a storm in a teacup about us being five minutes late.

‘Not for all the tea in China’– you can’t possibly be persuaded to do something you don’t want to do, no matter what is offered.

I don’t care what you say, I will never jump out of an aeroplane, not for all the tea in China!

Do you know anymore?


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