To Want the Butter and the Money From the Butter or a Month of French Idioms From A to Z

I especially like today expression because I learned its English equivalent quite soon after I moved to the States. Although it’s supposed to match the French idiom, it remains to this day a little strange to me. For some reason I never found the English idiom as explicit as the French one.

 

 

VOULOIR LE BEURRE ET L’ARGENT DU BEURRE

TO WANT THE BUTTER AND THE MONEY FROM THE BUTTER

YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT (TOO)

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

 

Originating from the end of the 19th century, this French expression illustrates how an honest dairy farmer who makes butter cannot take the money from its sale and sell it again.

In its metaphoric way it is used in France to talk of people who want to keep everything for them without leaving anything to others.

The association between Beurre (Butter) and Argent (Money) illustrates also very well how both can melt easily and quickly.

 

Do you agree or not that the French expression is clearer than its American counterpart?

A to Z Challenge

 

Have a great weekend and see you on Monday!

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