Have Your Cake and Eat it Too
The phrase "have your cake and eat it too" was not originally intended to be critical of someone who wants the best of both worlds, but simply of someone who indulges in disgusting habits. “Have your cake” is naturally meant sexually, and so to eat it afterwards was frowned upon, even in the most liberal circles of 19th century Paris. Charles Baudelaire once wrote a poem on this indulgent habit, which he practiced more than once. Certain obtuse literary critics misread this as a profound metaphor for man’s inability to achieve everything in life and the necessity of compromise, This new interpretation of the phrase became more popular in the English speaking world; there are still certain regions of France where the old meaning prevails, which has caused more than one unfortunate incident involving either the stoning of British or American tourists, or the concoction of a very unappetizing desert.
Posted by S.K. Azoulay