not my cup of teaTea has been an important, even venerated, drink in many cultures throughout history. It arrived in Britain in the 1650s as something only for the very rich, but by the 18th century people of all backgrounds wanted some. One of the most common idioms in everyday English speech uses the drink to state a preference. The positive version of the idiom ‘my cup of tea’ has been used since then to refer to something liked: “Tennis is my cup of tea”, for example. However, the negative version, which took off in the 1920s, is far more common today. As the British find it impolite to say that they do not like something, they use the expression ‘Not my cup of tea’ instead. For example: “Romantic movies are not my cup of tea”, “Spicy food is not my cup of tea” or even “Children are not my cup of tea” are ways of stating a dislike, minimalising the risk of offending someone”.

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