My multitasking mind cannot handle just one thing at a time – there must be a first and a last thing and quite a few inbetweeners as well. Thus, when I saw this week’s SoCS prompt: Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the phrase “icing on the cake”, various emotions relevant to cake toppings jumped to mind. Simultaneously.
The first thing that hit me was the thought that language can differ so much between countries and continents, but in the final event, we are all referring to the same concept – cake toppings. Think about it: “Icing on the cake” is a well-known expression in British English. In the USA they refer to cake frosting. Both these expressions sound so … cold as if it refers to something that just came out of the freezer. Or maybe the white stuff that appears on the lawn during wintertime.
The inbetweener thoughts are that icing/frosting on the cake rarely refers to cake toppings. More often than not we use these idioms to express emotions. Which can be positive or negative, jubilant or plain sarcastic. It can describe something that makes a good situation better. Or worse. “I won the lottery and now my boyfriend has proposed.” Is this good or bad? I suppose it depends on the tone of voice in which the facts are delivered. Strange, isn’t it, because one would think that icing/frosting on the cake would be a good thing, in all circumstances.
The last thought is – in South Africa, we don’t refer to icing/frosting on the cake where emotions are involved. “That was the cherry on my cake” is what we say. But the concept remains the same. This can refer to a genuine cake topping, we simply love cherries and will eat it whenever we can, but more often we are describing our emotions, good or bad.
Another last-minute inbetweener: the Afrikaans expression is “die kersie op my koek” – directly translated it can either mean “the cherry (fruit) on my cake” or “the candle on my cake”. Those small little birthday candles can convey good news or bad, depending on one’s age and the rapidity with which the candles increase year by year.
Multitasking to the max.
The prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “icing on the cake”. Linda said: Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the phrase “icing on the cake.” Enjoy!
To see the rules for this weekly challenge and all the entries for Saturday 22 January 2022, visit Linda G Hill our gracious host for these challenges, where you will also find links to blogs added by other participants.
To see all my SoCS entries on this website, follow this link.