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The meaning and origin of the expression: No more cakes and ale?

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No more cakes and ale?

Meaning

Cakes and ale are synonymous with the good life, like beer and skittles.

Origin

The word cake is often used as as a metaphor for 'a good thing' - as in 'take the cake' for example. The first use of cakes and ale with that allusion is Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, 1602:

SIR TOBY BELCH:
Out o' tune, sir: ye lie. Art any more than a steward? Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

See other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.