Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Water. A humorous phrase based on the idea that the only thing Adam and Eve had to drink in the Garden of Eden was water. I don't have any beer, but I can offer you some Adam's ale. A: "OK, two beers, and for you, sir?" B: "Oh, just an Adam's ale for me, thanks. I'm driving." A: "Sure thing, let me get you some Adam's ale—we have it on tap here!" B: "Har har, good one."
See also: ale
cakes and ale
Simple material pleasures; fun or lively enjoyment in general. The phrase first appeared in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night: "Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?" Primarily heard in UK. Any reasonable person knows that life is not all cakes and ale. Kids these days think only of cakes and ales—and not of the hard work they need to put in to be successful.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
cakes and aleBRITISH, LITERARY
You use cakes and ale to describe a time or activity when you enjoy yourself greatly and have no troubles. It has not all been cakes and ale, and Harding has had his share of setbacks along the way. Note: This expression is used in Shakespeare's `Twelfth Night'. Sir Toby Belch says to Malvolio, `Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?' (Act 2, Scene 3). `Cakes and Ale' is also the title of a novel by Somerset Maugham, which was published in 1930.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
cakes and alemerrymaking.
1601 William Shakespeare Twelfth Night Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
A jocular term for water, based on the strong likelihood that Adam hadn't discovered anything stronger (and they call the Garden of Eden a paradise?). Apparently no fans of alliterations, Scots used to refer to water as “Adam's beer.”
See also: ale
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price