not to be somebody's cup of tea

Mr Bones

Senior Member
España - Español
Hello, friends. Today I unexpectedly remembered this expression and several doubts suddenly came about. That's why I have no context to provide. I know the meaning and I'm looking for some nuances in order not to use it inappropriately. So my questions are:

1. When you say it is not my cup of tea, are you necessarily being ironic or dismissive or the expression can be also used to express a neutral statement? For instance
Did you like the book I lent you?

-No, that writer is not my cup of tea.

2. Do you still use this expression? Because it seems rather old-fashioned to me, even if I don't know why. It's just a feeling.

3. I know that it is surely BE. But is it AE as well? When it comes to tea, we immediately think of Brits.

Thank you very much. Bones
Please, correct my mistakes
 
  • englishman

    Senior Member
    English England
    I don't think you would ever use this expression in an ironic sense, but I think that usually you are being dismissive of the item in question. It has a slightly different flavour of meaning compared to, say, "I don't like it", which is merely a statement of fact. "It's not my cup of tea" implies that you don't like it, because of some perceived defect or failing in the item.
     

    daviesri

    Senior Member
    USA English
    1. When you say it is not my cup of tea, are you necessarily being ironic or dismissive or the expression can be also used to express a neutral statement? For instance I think this has been answered in your first thread. I do not see it as ironic or dismissive. It is basically a statement of fact. It is saying I did not care for it.

    -Did you like the book I lent you?
    -No, that writer is not my cup of tea.

    2. Do you still use this expression? Because it seems rather old-fashioned to me, even if I don't know why. It's just a feeling. Yes, I use it. I do not believe it is old-fashioned but then again I am in my 40's.

    3. I know that it is surely BE. But is it AE as well? When it comes to tea, we immediately think of Brits. It is used in AE.
     
    Mr Bones said:
    Hello, friends. I don't know what have I done, but the question was sent before I could finish it. Here is the whole question.


    Today I unexpectedly remembered this expression and several doubts suddenly came about. That's why I have no context to provide. I know the meaning and I'm looking for some nuances in order not to use it inappropriately. So my questions are:

    1. When you say it is not my cup of tea, are you necessarily being ironic or dismissive or the expression can be also used to express a neutral statement? For instance

    -Did you like the book I lent you?
    -No, that writer is not my cup of tea.

    2. Do you still use this expression? Because it seems rather old-fashioned to me, even if I don't know why. It's just a feeling.

    3. I know that it is surely BE. But is it AE as well? When it comes to tea, we immediately think of Brits.

    Thank you very much. Bones
    Please, correct my mistakes


    Dear Mr. Bones,

    You are definitely my cup of tea!

    1. It is used idiomatically to mean you don't like that writer.

    2. All the time over here.

    3. From The King and I - AE -

    song -

    "Getting to know you,
    putting it my way, but nicely,
    you are precisely
    my cup of tea."


    Woof! woof!
    LRV
    lk
     

    Mr Bones

    Senior Member
    España - Español
    Thank you very much to all of you. It's very clear now. And sorry again for the confusion with the posts.:eek: Bones.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I don't view it as old-fashioned. Just a gentle way of saying that you don't really like something without being that forceful about it. Do you like my mother? Well, darling, she's not everyone's cup of tea you know...;)
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think it does have an old-fashioned "flavour" about it (sorry for the pun), but only a flavour. It is certainly used in current BE. I think it has been in daily use for many decades (I can easily imagine it being used in the 20s/30s/40s) and has not really gone out of fasion because of the BE love of "a nice cup of tea".
     
    Spookily enough Mr Bones, I used it today in one of my posts.

    I was searching for an image of an English "cream tea" (feather-light scones with lashings of clotted cream, strawberry jam and some fresh strawberries, if you're lucky, plus a lovely pot of tea) to share with some forer@s. My eyes alighted on a sign saying "You are my cup of tea", which I considered far more fitting (in case any of them were on calorie-controlled diets).:D




    Woof!
    LRV
    lk
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    la reine victoria said:
    I was searching for an image of an English "cream tea" (feather-light scones with lashings of clotted cream, strawberry jam and some fresh strawberries, if you're lucky, plus a lovely pot of tea) to share with some forer@s. :D
    Sounds delicious, LRV - and it's just about tea-time, here!

    I would agree with the above post-ers [sic] (and we even share the same demographics, daviesri ;) ).

    This phrase is listed in thefreedictionary.com section on idioms (here), so it's definitely used in AE; it's somewhat more formal or literary, but still could be used in conversation, especially by a tea addict such as myself.


    from herself - off for a cup of tea! toodles!
     
    Top