Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 5 02:27:58 UTC 2011

Ben Zimmer wrote:
>>  5. "cupcake" not in OED:
>> "We were wrong for thinking coming in that they might be a cupcake team and
>> > they really ran it down our throat the first half," he said.>
>> Well, "cup-cake" in the literal sense is in the OED, but no figurative
>> assignment is given.
> Me on Language Log (mostly about the verb form):
> (Both of the above posts reference ADS-L discussions.)

The phrase "cupcake schedule" has been used since the 1970s to
describe a schedule containing weak opponents. Below is a cite in
1975. I think this use might have facilitated the transition to the
verb form. The examples given by Ben at Language Log and the 1991 cite
by Grant Barrett (given below) are mostly related to strength of

Milwaukee Sentinel - Feb 20, 1975

McGuire bristled at any suggestion his Warriors play a cupcake schedule.
"We'll play anybody in the country on a home and home basis," said
McGuire. "If our schedule is so weak, why is Fordham dropping us?"

1991 Phil Jackman Baltimore Evening Sun (Md.) (July 24)

"But I only used them two days" p. D2: In its last season before
joining Big Ten hoops, Penn State is cup-caking it with UMBC, Morgan,
Drexel, Miami (O), Buffalo, Lafayette, Cleveland State, Columbia,
Toledo, etc. How would you like to be in charge of selling season

The American Dialect Society -

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