One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Remove the top and bottom of (a fruit or vegetable) while preparing it as food.‘top and tail the beans and pull away any fibrous side threads’
- ‘However, as he explains: a favourite way to cook young ones is to top and tail the pod, trim off the stringy edges and slice the pod very thin with the beans still in it.’
- ‘Wipe, top and tail the aubergine and cut it into eight disks.’
- ‘As soon as the beetroot is cool enough to handle, top and tail it and remove the skin.’
- ‘We already know that if we want to eat a carrot safely, we need to generously peel, top and tail it first to remove organophosphate pesticides.’
2Wash the face and bottom of (a baby or small child).
- ‘Before the umbilical cord stump drops off, you can just top and tail your baby, using a bowl of warm water, baby lotion and a soft cloth or cotton wool.’
- ‘If your baby doesn't like baths, ‘top and tail’ her on alternate days - use cotton wool and warm water for eyes and face, and a washcloth for hands and bottom.’
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