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    #1

    Looking for an idiom

    Hi,

    I am looking for an idiom similar to "neat" or "straight" for scotch. But what I really want is an idiom for coffee without sugar. How is it called? Black coffee?

    Thanks!



  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Looking for an idiom

    In the U.S., there is no expression for that. We usually say "no sugar" or "with nothing in it." Most Americans don't say "neat," but some do, especially Anglophiles.

    It's fine to say "straight" or "straight up" ordering coffee. The server will understand that you're making a little joke and that you don't want anything in your coffee.

    Some people in the U.S. say "regular" when they order coffee, but it's dangerous, because "regular" means different things in different parts of the country. In some places it means to put nothing in it. In others, it means to add milk and sugar. In others, it's half-and-half and sugar. In others, it's just sugar.

    So here in the U.S., it's safest and most common to say "coffee with nothing in it."

    I don't know what they say in England.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Looking for an idiom

    By the way, you can say "neat," "straight," or "straight up" for any hard liquor, not just scotch.

  3. probus's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Looking for an idiom

    Quote Originally Posted by hiddenul View Post
    Hi,

    I am looking for an idiom similar to "neat" or "straight" for scotch. But what I really want is an idiom for coffee without sugar. How is it called? Black coffee?

    Thanks!


    In AmE black coffee doesn't mean coffee without sugar. It means coffee without milk or cream.

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    #5

    Re: Looking for an idiom

    Straight is the best thing I can think of in BrE.

  4. Grumpy's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Looking for an idiom

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Straight is the best thing I can think of in BrE.
    Not being a sophisticated habitue of Starbucks/Costa/McDonalds etc [other brands are available], I am unfamiliar with that expression. The only way you could be absolutely sure of getting a sugar-free cup from me would be to say "no sugar".
    Last edited by Grumpy; 09-Sep-2014 at 14:37.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

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