I'm looking for synonymous and antonymous expressions of "go easy on spices" and "go overboard with spices." Can you think of others?

  • the online thesaurus lists a lot of words that might not fit the context. – Apollyon Dec 20 '17 at 13:37
  • Are you asking about "hot" spices that can make a person cry (such as black pepper, chili peppers, and ginger)? Or other kinds of spices? Or both? – Jasper Dec 20 '17 at 13:46
  • What does it matter what kinds of spices I'm talking about? – Apollyon Dec 20 '17 at 13:48
  • The kinds of spices matter, because some spice-related metaphors refer to "heat", "burning", "fires", "crying", "sneezing", and related phenomena. – Jasper Dec 20 '17 at 13:49

Go easy on spices

  • use spices sparingly
  • keeping it mild/bland

Go overboard with spices

  • season it heavily
  • spice it up
  • go mad with the spices
  • spice the hell out of it
  • spice it liberally
  • Are there more colloquial alternatives, like overdo? – Apollyon Dec 20 '17 at 13:38
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    I would need context. Overdo is to me more negative than going overboard. overboard is more "funny" and overdo is more of a negative criticism in my ears. You cannot ask someone to overdo something, but you can ask them to go overboard – mplungjan Dec 20 '17 at 13:42

To mplungjan's list I would add

Don't go hog-wild with the(m) spices.


They like it hot. Spice it up to beat the band.

  • Are there any similar expressions involving "free"? – Apollyon Dec 20 '17 at 13:56
  • Not in the "colloquial" register you've asked for. Don't be too free with those spices. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 20 '17 at 13:57
  • I seem to have seen expressions like "free hand." Can it be used? – Apollyon Dec 20 '17 at 13:58
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    "with a free hand" means to do something liberally. He poured the Scotch with a free hand. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 20 '17 at 13:59
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    @Apollyon: I have not used the two words, sprinkle and liberal, together here. But the phrases "a liberal sprinkling" or "sprinkle liberally" are indeed somewhat contradictory. If I were told to give something a liberal sprinkle of something (chopped nuts, water, powdered sugar, whatever) I would understand that instruction to mean "feel free to use quite a lot more than the word 'sprinkle' suggests". sprinkle then becomes only the manner of dispersion, when usually it suggests both manner of dispersion and the (relatively small) quantity dispersed. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 21 '17 at 13:58

I'd suggest simply don't over-season, versus ... and don't skimp on the seasoning. There are so many synonyms for “don't overdo ...” and “be generous with ...” that it's impossible to list them all (now someone will try).

For salt and sugar, “go easy on” is probably just about the most universally understood expression to use. No need to try too hard :o)

For practical examples, I'd suggest perhaps checking out some TV chefs / recipe books for what's considered normal (by them). Just don't treat Lloyd Grossman as an authority, he talks very oddly. Being British, I'm thinking of Nigella, Delia Smith, Anthony Worrall Thompson, Ainsley Harriott, ...

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