Who doesn’t love a good cake? We have cake when we celebrate birthdays, weddings, or other special days. It’s widely enjoyed to the point where we say something is “a peice of cake” to describe something easy. But since when were cakes viewed as something “easy”?
The origin of this expression comes from 1870s United States, where cakes were given out as prizes for competitions. But that’s only English. Other languages and cultures around the world have their own expressions to describe something easy to do. Here is how to say “a piece of cake” in different languages.
1. Child’s Play
French: Jeu d’enfant
Swedish: Rena barnleken
Czech: to je hračka
Not to be confused with Chucky, this expression is actually referring to children’s games. It’s also used in English as well, dating back to the early 1300s Middle Ages, where Chaucer used the expression in The Merchant’s Tale.
2. Lying Down and Eating Rice Cake
Korean: 누워서 떡 먹기
Historically in Korea, while common folk would work, the nobles would lay down and enjoy their rice cakes. But ironically this is a major choking hazard. Do not try this at home. It makes sense that nowadays Koreans use more of the expression “식은 죽 먹기”, which means “Eating cooled down porridge“.
3. Sewing and Singing
Spanish: coser y cantar
Rumor is that this idiom came from a group of women tailors. To entertain themselves, they would sing while working. Supposedly sewing was considered something very easy for them that they would happily sing. Challenge accepted.
4. Easy as Drinking a Glass of Water
Italian: facile come bere un bicchiere d’acqua
This one is pretty self-explanatory, so we won’t say too much. It’s something we do everyday, hence making it an easy practice. Stay hydrated guys.
5. Bread with Butter
Polish: bułka z masłem
Greek: Βούτυρο στο ψωμί του/της
Coming to the end of “easy” foods, we pass cakes, pies, rice cakes, and finally come back to the basics: bread with butter. As easy as pie, like a piece of cake, we eat bread with butter. Next time you can be reminded of how “easy” something is when you have breakfast.