You can't ____ your cake and ___ it too

According to this, I’ve said this phrase incorrectly my entire life. I think he’s terribly wrong, though. So which way should the phrase go?

Poll in a minute…

You can’t bake your cake and pan fry it too.

Should I have a mod move this to CS?

Since when do polls about idioms go in CS?

And it looks like I got all poll-happy, and forgot to get my linky-linky on.

Have and eat. You think who is terribly wrong?

Eat and have. Because if you eat it…then it’s gone? Thus you can’t eat your cake and have it, too.

I’ve heard it both ways interchangeably and never really like the phrase so I don’t use it much.

Bake and fuck.

Have and eat, who can’t do that?

It’s eating and then still having that you can’t do.

Since when do threads about cake go in IMHO? :wink:

I’m pretty sure it’s have/eat.

But I can see this thread becoming lots of fun.

You can’t frost your cake and glaze it too.

You’ve added the word “then”, which can be seen to change the meaning. In the have/eat version, I think it’s assumed that the word “simultaneously” is in there somewhere.

You can’t Frost your cake and Nixon it, too.

But the phrase isn’t “have, then eat”, it’s “have and eat”, concurrently.

The idiom is “have your cake and eat it too”. I agree that the idiom wouldn’t be so confusing if the terms were reversed–you can’t eat your cake and have it too. Lots of people don’t understand what the original idioms means, because they reason that if you have your cake, you can then eat it.

But of course, the idiom means that if you eat your cake, you won’t have your cake anymore. So it would make more sense reversed. But just because it would make more sense reversed, the idiom is still “have your cake and eat it too”.


I always thought the prhase was a bit stupid, I mean, what’s the point of cake? Eating, obviously. There’s no point in just having it without eating it.

Of course you can. Just let it cool a little first.

But we’re talking simultaneously. Ow ow ow ow ow!

You can’t have your Kate and Edith too.

See, I always thought that the phrase referred to the fact that “having cake” can mean the same thing as “eating cake”, so once you’ve had your cake you can’t eat it again.

Leave it out in the rain and have that recipe again

The other definition of having suddenly strikes me as very odd. That is, the ownership definition. I have a BMW. I have $200 in my pocket. I have a head cold. I have a two year lease.

Got that definition in your head? Good. Keep it there.

“Come on over to our son’s birthday party. We’re having cake.”

Does that sound like the most boring and bizarre party ever?

That’s not what your sister said when I had her.