eat one's cake and have it, too, to(redirected from eat one's cake and have it too)
eat one's cake and have it (too)
To have or do two things that one desires that are normally contradictory or impossible to have or do simultaneously. Because "have" can also mean "eat," this expression may seem redundant. However, it is based on the meaning of "have" as "to possess," i.e., to maintain possession of one's cake while still eating it, an obvious impossibility. The phrase is often reversed: "have one's cake and eat it (too)." You're never going to save enough money to buy a house if you keep buying expensive appliances and cars. You can't eat your cake and have it, too. Too many people want to eat their cake and have it, demanding all sorts of social benefits from the government but being unwilling to pay any taxes to fund them.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
eat one's cake and have it, too, to
To have it both ways; to spend something and still possess it. This metaphor was already a proverb in the sixteenth century, included in John Heywood’s collection of 1546 (as “You cannot eat your cake and have your cake”) and has reappeared with great regularity ever since, probably because, as A. C. Benson wrote (From a College Window, 1907), “There still remains the intensely human instinct . . . the desire to eat one’s cake and also to have it.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
- which way the wind blows, (to know)
- can't see the forest/wood(s) for the trees
- know what/which side of the bread is buttered (on), to
- give (someone) an inch and they'll take a mile
- teach a man to fish
- it takes a village
- there's something in the wind
- the best-laid plans
- the best-laid plans of mice and men