English In Use – ‘TV Chef Pays Staff Peanuts’

A selection of headlines from stories in the news. They use English in a way that you might think is intended to confuse but it’s all perfectly clear to the native speaker.

Pay Peanuts

‘Paying peanuts’ is a common British idiom for paying someone a very low salary or wage, so it was very appropriate for a headline in The Sun on a story that staff at the Michelin-starred Le Gavroche restaurant in Mayfair, London, which is run by TV chef Michel Roux Jr, are paid less than staff at McDonald’s.

Mr Roux should understand the rest of the idiom – Pay Peanuts, Get Monkeys.


I am a director of the Learn English Network. A non-profit organisation registered in the UK dedicated to helping people learning English and people who teach English online.

Learn English 2020