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Is there an English alternative of urdu idiom آنکھوں کا بھوکا which translates to hungry of eyes?

We use that idiom to mean that someone takes more food but can't eat it and is greedy

Example: Ali is (hungry of eyes).

How do I say that in English?

Thank you all for your answers!

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3 Answers 3

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You could say his eyes are bigger than his stomach.

Somebody's eyes are bigger than their belly/stomach: something that you say when someone has taken more food than they can eat.

[Cambridge English dictionary]

Example: Ali's eyes are bigger than his stomach.

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@DecapitatedSoul has already provided the best possible answer, but I'll still offer up bite off more than one can chew. From M-W:

bite off more than one can chew: to undertake more than one can handle

This applies to virtually any activity, including eating. In the latter case, it is a bit of a double entendre. I have often used it myself when I've ordered or taken more food than I can eat. It works well served with a wry smile.

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    Ironically, it's seldom used to actually talk about food
    – Kevin
    May 15, 2020 at 16:35
  • @Kevin It is ironic, but I have often used it myself when I've ordered or taken more food than I can eat.It works well served with a wry smile. May 15, 2020 at 16:38
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    The original example implied greed and (to an extent) hoarding, but I've only heard this particular idiom used to denote over-confidence or getting onseself into a situation where they cannot succeed. May 17, 2020 at 16:20
  • @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas The original example implied greed only in the limited sense of taking more food than one can eat. No implication of hoarding except in the limited sense of one-off monopolization of food offerings. I agree that biting off more than one can chew usually denotes taking on more than one can handle, but that can certainly apply to eating, too. And then, as I said, biting off more than one can chew results in an amusing double entendre. May 17, 2020 at 16:34
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In Glasgow we say: "Ali, ya eyne is bigger then ya belly!"

My Pakistani friends use it too, although they speak as much Urdu as English, well Scot's Urdo at this point. :)

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