My cup of tea

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sergiofreeman, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. sergiofreeman

    sergiofreeman Senior Member

    Miami Florida
    Hi Again!
    I know the expression you are my cup of tea, it is very used in the UK, I would like to know If it could be weird hear it in AE,
    Another question about this expression is : if I could use it toward , wife , daughters and so forth to show up we are very fond of them.
    · I feel proud of my wife, she is really my cup of tea.
    · My daughters and I have a very strong relationship , they are my cups of tea.
    You tell me , please, if is natural this usage of this England expression.
    Many Thanks
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2010
  2. George French Senior Member

    English - UK
    I have never heard this meaning of "my cup of tea", the usage is different. It is used more to describe things that you like. Participating in the WR English Forum is one of my cups of tea.

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  3. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    Yes, you could hear it in AE as well as BE.

    "My cup of tea" is about likes and preferences, in my opinion, not about pride or depth of the relationship. It means that the thing or person suits you well or that you like it very much.

    To modify your examples I would say:

    - I am very content/comfortable/happy with my wife; she is really my cup of tea.
    - My daughters and I have a very easy/comfortable relationship; they are really my cup of tea.

    You are saying that you have similar interests, are very compatible socially and enjoy each other's company.

    I think it is more common with things than people.
  4. rukia1

    rukia1 New Member

    I won't lie if I say that I have never heard such use of this sentence ...
    But if I remember well my teacher had used this one but I don't remember details:
    · I feel proud of my wife, she is really my cup of tea...
    am soory as I didn't help
  5. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    The phrase isn't usually used in respect to persons (although it can be, and has been). I think more importantly it tends to be used in the negative, or with comparatives:
    "It's not my cup of tea." (quite commonly heard in the UK)
    "This is more my cup of tea."
    Also, it does not sound at all idiomatic in the plural.
  6. sabretoof

    sabretoof Senior Member

    English - Australia
    To me, it sounds fine to say someone is your cup of tea, but it does sound a bit strange to apply that to family members. You could use it when talking about a new friend or boy/girlfriend, but I doubt it would be used much when talking about a long-time partner.
  7. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    That's exactly what I would have said.

    I have never heard this used in the kind of positive and complimentary way that sergio suggested in post #1.
  8. pops91710

    pops91710 Senior Member

    I grew up right here in California and it was used all the time, and as Mole said, to say not my cup of tea. Mathematics is not my cup of tea. I have never heard it said any other way than "not my cup of tea".
  9. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

  10. pops91710

    pops91710 Senior Member

  11. sergiofreeman

    sergiofreeman Senior Member

    Miami Florida
    Hi Again!

    About this phrase I read:

    In the early 20th century, a 'cup of tea' was such a synonym for acceptability that it became the name given to a favoured friend, especially one with a boisterous, life-enhancing nature.

    People or things with which one felt an affinity began to be called 'my cup of tea' in the 1930s. Nancy Mitford appears to be the first to record that term in print, in the comic novel Christmas Pudding, 1932:
    I'm not at all sure I wouldn't rather marry Aunt Loudie. She's even more my cup of tea in many ways.

    The expression is more often used in the 'not my cup of tea' form these days. This negative usage began in WWII.

    here goes the link:

  12. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    I find lots of recent examples of it, both negative and positive, from very casual chatspeak to newspaper articles and fiction.

    Here are a few more examples of it in the positive:
    (comment on blog)

    Definitely hot. Maybe she is just my cup of tea, but without seeing/qualifying her body, I think she is the real deal.
    Street Corners, a 2007 novel by Crystal Hickerson

    "I mean for that sweet innocent thing over there. She is just my cup of tea, you know?"
    (from a chat forum thread about the UK show "The X Factor")

    I wouldn't want her to sing any other way. She is just class, class, class. She will be a superstar even if she doesn't win. I love Matt too but she is just my cup of tea.
    (on a board discussing "The Real Housewives of New York" about a June 3, 2010 episode)

    I also think Bethenney’s snark is a matter of taste. She is my cup of tea. I get her.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010

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