Soups On: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
June 17, 2023

"Soups on" is an idiom of Anglo-Saxon origin. This idiomatic phrase was originally used to alert others that the Soup was ready and it was time to eat. In a broader context, it is often used to signify that something is ready or about to begin. Whether it is a meal, an event, or a project, the phrase can denote a sense of readiness and urgency. Therefore, the phrase can be used in a variety of situations not limited to food, expanding its versatility in everyday language.

In short:

"Soups on" is an idiom indicating that something is ready or about to commence.

What Does "Soups On" Mean?

Digging deeper into the meaning of "Soups On," this phrase has roots in communal settings, where a large pot of Soup would often signal the beginning of a meal. Today, it is used more broadly to denote that an event, project, or situation is about to start. "Soups On" is an alert, a call to action that something is ready to be undertaken, whether it's a meal or a task.

  • Used literally: The phrase can be used in its original context, announcing that a meal is ready to be served.
  • Used figuratively: In this usage, the phrase is often used to indicate that a task, project, or event is ready to begin. It could also indicate that a situation is imminent or unavoidable.

Where Does "Soups On" Come From?

The idiom "Soups On" originates from the simple act of serving Soup at mealtime in old Anglo-Saxon societies. This was usually a communal event where family or community members gathered to eat. Historically, Soup was often the first course of a meal, especially in large households or gatherings. As such, the cry of "Soup's On" would signal that the meal was beginning. This idiom has been used in English and literature, showcasing its flexibility and enduring relevance.

Historical Example

"And so, with the soup on, and every child's mouth-watering, the solemn ceremony of the Sabbath evening commenced."

- The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, 1836

"But when the soup's on, and you're at the table, you'll get none if you ain't there."

- Artie: A Story of the Streets and Town by George Ade, 1896

10 Examples of "Soups On" in Sentences

Here are ten different ways "Soups On" can be used in a sentence:

  • As the chef placed the steaming bowls of Soup on the table, he announced with a smile, Soups on, everyone! Let's dig in and have good vibes!
  • Once the project is approved, soups are on, and we can start work immediately.
  • The guests arrived just in time for dinner, and I shouted, Soup's on! They eagerly sat down at the table, hoping for a delicious feast. For God's sake, I hope they enjoy it!
  • I just got off the phone with the boss, and he said soups are on for our new marketing campaign.
  • When the referee blows the whistle, soups on, and the game begins.
  • The minute the sale goes live online, soups are on, and it's a mad dash to get the best deals.
  • As the renowned chef presented the steaming bowl of Soup, he exclaimed, Soup's on! Confident that his culinary masterpiece was destined for greatness.
  • As the chef placed the steaming bowls of Soup on the table, he declared with a smile, Soup's on! and requested his friend to check on me later in the evening.
  • The minute the examination papers are distributed, soups are on, and the test has officially started.
  • When the director yells 'Action!', soups on, and the scene begins.

Examples of "Soup's On" in Pop Culture

The idiom "Soup's On" also appears frequently in pop culture, often being used in media to signify a starting point or readiness. Some examples include:

  • "Soups On" is an episode title in the popular animated TV series "The Fairly OddParents."
  • In the film "The Polar Express," the conductor yells "Soups on" to announce that it's time to serve hot chocolate.
  • American rock band The Offspring has a song titled "Session" where they sing: "Once again, soups on, and I ain't the one who's gonna miss the meal."
  • In the comic strip "Peanuts," Snoopy often declares "Soups on" when serving Woodstock and his friends.
  • In the video game "Cooking Mama," one of the voice lines, when a meal is ready, is "Soups on."
  • In the TV series "M*A*S*H," the phrase is often used to announce the serving of meals at the mess hall.
  • In "SpongeBob SquarePants," the character Mr. Krabs often announces, "Soups on" when Krabby Patties are ready.
  • In the animated film "Ratatouille," Chef Skinner yells, "Soups on" when the Soup is ready.

Other Ways to Say "Soups On"

Several alternative expressions convey a similar meaning to "Soups On."

Some of these include:

  • Dinner's ready.
  • Let's get this show on the road.
  • Time to start.
  • We're ready to roll.
  • Time's up.
  • Let's get cracking.
  • It's going time.
  • Let's begin.
  • Ready, set, go.
  • Let's hit the ground running.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Soups On"

  • What is the origin of "Soup's On"?

The phrase originated in old Anglo-Saxon societies, where soup was a communal meal and "Soup's On" signaled the beginning of eating time.

  • Can "Soups On" be used in non-food contexts?

Yes, "Soup's On" can signify the start of any event, project, or situation, not just meals.

  • Is "Soups On" a common idiom in English?

While not as common as some idioms, it is well-understood in English-speaking societies, particularly in America and the UK.

  • Can the phrase be used formally?

Generally, "Soup's On" is more informal and conversational. It may not be suitable for formal written documents or formal events.

  • What's the best way to respond to "Soups On"?

Typically, it's a call to action, so the best response would be to engage with whatever is starting or to acknowledge the announcement.

  • Is "Soups On" used in literature?

The phrase has appeared in literature, especially in dialogue within novels and plays. It's also found in song lyrics and movie scripts.

  • Does the phrase exist in other languages?

While the specific phrase "Soups On" may not exist, similar idioms denoting the start of something are found in many languages.

  • Does "Soups On" have any negative connotations?

No, "Soups On" is neutral and depends on context for its meaning. It doesn't inherently carry any negative connotations.

  • Can "Soups On" be used sarcastically?

Like most idioms, it can be used sarcastically depending on the speaker's tone and context.

  • Is "Soups On" considered outdated?

Although it has historical origins, "Soups On" is still used and understood today, particularly in colloquial speech and pop culture.

Final Thoughts About "Soups On"

"Soups On" is an idiom with roots in a communal eating tradition that has evolved into a versatile phrase, signaling the start of any event or situation. It's a testament to the adaptability and inventiveness of language. It's another example of how language continues to evolve and adapt in history and culture.

  • It's a call to action, indicating something is ready or about to start.
  • It can be used literally or figuratively.
  • It's a phrase that has found its place in both everyday speech and pop culture.

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