You can't have your cake and eat it!

Posted by ESC on December 02, 2004

In Reply to: You can't have your cake and eat it! posted by Solaris on December 02, 2004

: This one has always baffled me, we may know what it's intended meaning is, but it certainly doesn't carry any logic, what else is a cake for, apart from eating? It has no other purpose except to be eaten & enjoyed, therefore the logic would dictate that the phrase meant something like; "I am going to taunt you with something you want but not let you have any" yet it's use has another meaning.

: There might be some logic in the historic source, Anyone know where it came from?

From the archives (search under "cake"):
"You can't have your cake and eat it too -- One can't use something up and still have it to enjoy. This proverb was recorded in the book of proverbs by John Heywood in 1546, and is first attested in the United States in the 1742 'Colonial Records of Georgia' in 'Original Papers, 1735-1752.' The adage is found in varying forms: You can't eat your cake and have it too. You can't have everything and eat it too; Eat your cake and have the crumbs in bed with you, etc. ..." From the Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman.