Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

What does this phrase mean to you

(75 Posts)
polomint Wed 28-Jul-21 13:38:53

What does the phrase " having your cake and eating it " mean to you? Does it mean you want it all your own way, sticking your head in the sand and not facing reality or do you take another meaning from it.
My daughter and I disagree on the interpretation of it and I wonder what other grans thought

PinkCosmos Wed 28-Jul-21 13:42:35

I always think of it as people who have affairs with no intention of leaving their partner. They want to have their cake and eat it.

MawBe Wed 28-Jul-21 13:44:07

It means (to me) that you want both of two possibly contradictory alternatives eg a “perfect 10” dress size, but coffee and Danish pastries when you meet up with friends, or a high- powered career and perfect children and being a domestic goddess at the same time.

Farmor15 Wed 28-Jul-21 13:45:04

I think the phrase may be "eating your cake and having it", rather than the other way around.
My mother used to say the only way to eat your cake and have it was to eat in bed!

Granmarderby10 Wed 28-Jul-21 13:51:03

polomint I always thought “to have your cake and eat it” meant you want all of the advantages with none of the disadvantages of any given situation... Eg. You want six babies but you want to have a career as an international airline pilot 👩‍✈️ and why not 😆

timetogo2016 Wed 28-Jul-21 13:53:47

To me it means you want the best of both worlds.

sharon103 Wed 28-Jul-21 13:58:02

You can’t have your cake and eat it too is a phrase that means there are two options that someone wants, but they can’t have both because the options conflict with each other, so they can only pick one.

3nanny6 Wed 28-Jul-21 14:00:36

To me "having your cake and eating it" means exactly that
which is why I am at least one and a half stone heavier than I should be.
Everyday is a new day and I tell myself I give up the cake today.
The thrill and the taste of the first bite of that victoria sandwich or a chocolate cake even lemon drizzle sees my good intentions go out of the window.

blondenana Wed 28-Jul-21 14:01:01

I have always thought it meant ,you want to have something, but also something else at the same time
As in being in a relationship, but also having an affair
Wanting the best of 2 worlds
Having 2 different things at the same time, without giving one up

BlueBelle Wed 28-Jul-21 14:17:13

It’s ‘having your cake and eating it’ meaning the best of both worlds it means if there were two parties on you would want to go to both, if there were two dresses you liked you want to buy both, whether you can afford it or not
In other words being a tad greedy

Aldom Wed 28-Jul-21 14:25:27

I've only known the phrase as 'you can't have your cake and eat it' or the other version 'You can't have the cake and the ha' penny '.
Both were meant to imply that a choice had to be made. Both versions used by my mother!

Callistemon Wed 28-Jul-21 14:38:26

Granmarderby10

polomint I always thought “to have your cake and eat it” meant you want all of the advantages with none of the disadvantages of any given situation... Eg. You want six babies but you want to have a career as an international airline pilot 👩‍✈️ and why not 😆

You mean wanting to be a man!! 👨‍✈️👶👶👶👶👶👶

😁

Callistemon Wed 28-Jul-21 14:40:17

Oops, misandry alert!
😁

M0nica Wed 28-Jul-21 14:45:57

blondenana I agree with you.

Juliet27 Wed 28-Jul-21 14:56:11

I think Sharon103 gave the clearest explanation.

NotSpaghetti Wed 28-Jul-21 15:03:48

I agree with blonde and sharon.
Both point out that you can't have both positives.

The inference is that you do not want the negatives of your choice either.

BlueBelle Wed 28-Jul-21 15:59:11

Now polomint what was yours and your daughters take on it?

Hithere Wed 28-Jul-21 16:03:04

To me, it means " I want both options and dont want to pick"

Example- want to be married and still have affairs
Want to spend all the money in the world but not work at all

sharon103 Wed 28-Jul-21 16:10:32

Juliet27

I think Sharon103 gave the clearest explanation.

I googled it. Copied and pasted. I knew what it meant but couldn't find the exact words to describe it. lol grin
What a cheat I am.

Marydoll Wed 28-Jul-21 16:15:15

Perfect explanation, Sharon.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 28-Jul-21 16:20:58

To me the expression means exactly what it says.

You want to eat your cake now (enjoy it now) and have it to eat later (the joy of looking forward to something nice.)

You can't do both, so you have to make a choice.

Either eat the cake now, or keep it to eat later.

SueDonim Wed 28-Jul-21 16:23:32

sharon103

You can’t have your cake and eat it too is a phrase that means there are two options that someone wants, but they can’t have both because the options conflict with each other, so they can only pick one.

This is the meaning that I understand. It’s what you see in small children such as a toddler wanting their pizza cut up but then crying because the pizza is broken.

annodomini Wed 28-Jul-21 16:25:56

Don't complain when you've used up all your opportunities - you'll never get them back again.

nadateturbe Wed 28-Jul-21 16:34:00

sharon103

You can’t have your cake and eat it too is a phrase that means there are two options that someone wants, but they can’t have both because the options conflict with each other, so they can only pick one.

That's my understanding. You can't have it both ways.

polomint Wed 28-Jul-21 17:14:26

But does having your cake and eating it mean you are being selfish? If you are not hurting anyone and just doing what you want, having all the good bits in a relationship but none of the bad real life gritty bits, are you being selfish?