with a pinch of salt

Explanation: What is an idiom?

be sceptical about something that is said or promised.


"Has your mother gone in for her hip operation yet?"

"Has she hell. She's got a few months more to wait, I reckon. Paying National Insurance all her life and then she gets treated like this. It's a scandal."

"Well, the government did say they were going to get waiting times down to only a few weeks."

"Yeah, well, I'd take what they say with a pinch of salt if I were you. Remember what they said about education?"

Yeah, I blame the government for my terrible results at school."

"Really, I blame the health service."

"Why's that?"

"Well, they should have realised you were subnormal when you were still a child."

"Oi watch it, or you won't get another drink."


Salt used to be seen as an antidote to poisons. Therefore, people would take a pinch of salt when they were going to eat something which might poison them. To take something with a pinch of salt was only done when the food was seen as suspicious. Nowadays, when someone says something that you don't really believe, you use this idiom when speaking to someone else about it.

Another way of saying this idiom is 'with a grain of salt' - A 'grain' is one tiny crystal of salt

Category: p,food

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