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The best thing since sliced bread

Posted by ESC on August 12, 2005

In Reply to: The best thing since sliced bread Posted by J C Flake on August 12, 2005

: Origin of "The best thing since sliced bread."

The origin is literal. People could only buy unsliced loaves and had to cut it themselves with a knife. Then somebody came up with the idea of a bread-slicer and pre-sliced bread.

"It's the greatest thing since sliced bread -- What a brilliant idea! What a fine thing! Said of any innovation more important than a bread slicer. Often used sarcastically. The expression originated in the mid-twentieth century. Chinese checkers, chopped liver, packaged bread, swinging doors, chewing gum, the hula hoop, or the hamburger may replace (the term) 'sliced bread' (in the expression)..." For example, "the greatest thing since the hula hoop." Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

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