phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Taking the biscuit

Posted by Bruce Kahl on December 16, 2001

In Reply to: Taking the biscuit posted by TheFallen on December 16, 2001

: I'm sure that this has come up before, but why does something that is an extreme, and more often the worst of all cases, "just take the biscuit"?

Here in the US we would say "take the cake" meaning to take first prize or be judged the winner.
The origin of these sayings almost certainly lies in childhood contests where the winner's prize is a cake or biscuit, but modern use of the terms is almost exclusively ironic -- someone "takes the cake" when their conduct is shocking, surprising, or sets a new low in ethics.