eat one's cake and have it, too

Also, have one's cake and eat it, too. Have a dual benefit, consume something and still possess it, as in Doug was engaged to Ann and still dating Jane; he was trying to eat his cake and have it, too. This metaphoric expression is often put negatively, as it already was in John Heywood's proverb collection of 1546: “You cannot eat your cake and have your cake.”

Nearby words

  1. eat crow,
  2. eat high off the hog,
  3. eat humble pie,
  4. eat in,
  5. eat like a bird,
  6. eat one's hat,
  7. eat one's heart out,
  8. eat one's words,
  9. eat out,
  10. eat out of someone's hand

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.