Query: Does "piece of cake" (sth. easy) derive ultimately from "cakewalk"?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Apr 20 22:00:10 UTC 2008

At 4/20/2008 01:40 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:
>Is there any chance that "piece of cake" (something easy: HDAS:
>first attestation is 1936), which derives from slang "cake"
>(something easy; HDAS: first attestation is 1911) derives ultimately
>from "cakewalk" (easy victory in boxing; then: something
>easy;  HDAS: first attestation is 1897)?

Or "1. a. 'A walking competition among negroes, in which the couple
who put on most style "take the cake"' (Thornton).  b. A dance
modelled on this", for which OED2 goes back to 1879?


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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