verb (used with object), caked, cak·ing.
verb (used without object), caked, cak·ing.
- cake eater,
- cake flour,
- cake kidney,
- cake makeup,
- to surpass all others, especially in some undesirable quality; be extraordinary or unusual: His arrogance takes the cake.
- to win first prize.
Origin of cake
Word Origin for cake
c.1600, from cake (n.). Related: Caked; caking.
early 13c., from Old Norse kaka "cake," from West Germanic *kokon- (cf. Middle Dutch koke, Dutch koek, Old High German huohho, German Kuchen). Not now believed to be related to Latin coquere "to cook," as formerly supposed. Replaced its Old English cognate, coecel.
What man, I trow ye raue, Wolde ye bothe eate your cake and haue your cake? ["The Proverbs & Epigrams of John Heywood," 1562]
Originally (until early 15c.) "a flat, round loaf of bread." Piece of cake "something easy" is from 1936. The let them eat cake story is found in Rousseau's "Confessions," in reference to an incident c.1740, long before Marie Antoinette, though it has been associated with her since c.1870; it apparently was a chestnut in the French royal family that had been told of other princesses and queens before her.
take the cake
To be the most outstanding; sometimes used in a derogatory sense: “When it comes to eating like a pig, Gordy really takes the cake.”
take the cake
Be the most outstanding in some respect, either the best or the worst. For example, That advertising slogan really took the cake, or What a mess they made of the concert—that takes the cake! This expression alludes to a contest called a cakewalk, in which a cake is the prize. Its figurative use, for something either excellent or outrageously bad, dates from the 1880s.
see eat one's cake and have it, too; flat as a pancake; icing on the cake; nutty as a fruitcake; piece of cake; sell like hot cakes; slice of the pie (cake); take the cake.