Easy on the ice/the salt/the sauce.

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Does "easy on" mean "make it less?" In other words, does the title mean "make it less icy, make it less salty, put less sauce on it?"

Another question, can I say "easy on ice" only, without saying "the ice?"

Also, on the contrary, if I prefer more ice, more salty, or more sauce on top, what kind of expression do I have to use? Could I simply say "please make it more icy, make it more salty, cover the top with the sauce?"

Thank you in advance.
  • cropje_jnr

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    It can mean that - it's from "take it easy on..." If somebody is putting ice or salt into or sauce onto something, then it would have this meaning. Similarly, if somebody was eating too many hot dogs, you might say "easy on the hot dogs!"

    All three of your sentences for the opposite case seem correct to me. The easiest way would probably be to say "can you please put more ice/salt in it?" or "can I please have a bit more ice/salt?"


    New Member
    Usually when I hear the phrase "easy on the ..." it means "don't apply too much" or implies that one should be careful, not reckless, with whatever it is that they are doing/applying.

    It can also be used if someone is doing something too rushed or in too large quantities, ie, if someone is carelessly dumping a bottle of hot sauce on some food.

    A similar phrase might be said if someone is going too fast.
    eg: a student learning to drive a vehicle begins to accelerate too rapidly, and their instructor calls out, "easy on the pedal!" or simply "easy!"


    The best opposite for "easy on the sauce" is, I think, "heavy on the sauce," if you want to maintain the same informal tone. But as noted above, all your suggestions on perfectly correct.

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I always thought this was short for 'Go easy on the ice, the salt, or whatever'.

    The opposite is outside the idiom; something like add plenty of ice...

    You can extend the image to (Go) easy on the accelerator, the charm, the expansive gestures,...


    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Does "easy on" mean "make it less?" In other words, does the title mean "make it less icy, make it less salty, put less sauce on it?"
    To add to the comments you have been given already, the specific answer to your question is "no, it does not mean 'make it less'."

    You would say "easy on the ____" in reference to something that has not yet been done or has not yet been made. For example, suppose you are ordering some food in a restaurant, and while you like a a small amount of hot peppers in your food, you know that the cook will use too many for your taste if you say nothing. You then might say "Go easy on the hot peppers", and your food would then be prepared with only a small amount of hot peppers. You could not, however, refer to food that has already been prepared and say "easy on the hot peppers"; that use would make no sense.

    In the same way, suppose your wife tells you that she is going to make some spaghetti sauce. You have been having a problem with indigestion, and garlic, which is an ingredient in the sauce as your wife usually makes it, will cause you discomfort. You might say "Good, I love your spaghetti sauce, but please go easy on the garlic tonight, because I am having trouble digesting it." She will then reduce the amount of garlic that she will use in the sauce that has not yet been made.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Easy on the X = not too much X


    Don’t hold back on the X

    That’s how I say it, and it works every time!
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