You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too


What does You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too mean?

The phrase You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat ‍It Too is⁤ an idiomatic phrase used to express the ​impossibility of​ having‍ two contradictory things at ​the same time. It means that you cannot enjoy the benefits or advantages of two‌ opposing choices simultaneously. It⁣ signifies the idea that once a choice is made, you must ⁣accept the consequences and ⁤sacrifices associated with it.

Example: If you choose to stay up all ⁤night to watch your favorite TV show, you can’t expect to feel well-rested and ⁤energetic​ the next day. In this situation, “You Can’t Have Your ‍Cake and Eat It Too” implies ⁤that you must decide between entertainment and sleep; you can’t have both.


What's the origin of You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too?

The expression first emerged in the 16th century, with one of the earliest example of it appearing in a 1538 letter by Thomas, Duke of Norfolk sent to Thomas Cromwell with the words “A man cannot have his cake and eat his cake.”

It would be used throughout the centuries, appearing in several letters and documents in several different wordings, later appearing in various collections of idioms and proverbs.

Spread & Usage

How did You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too spread?

The current variation of the phrase, which is described by many as based on a faulty logic (due to the double-entendre of the word “have”, which can be used synonymously for “eat” as in “have breakfast”) started taking over other variants in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

“You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat it Too” was first written about on Urban Dictionary in 2005.

So, while we know, Both is Good, one must always remember the proverb Too Much of a Good Thing, and not exclude the possibility that The Cake is a Lie.

External resources

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