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garrick92
4995.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:58 pm Reply with quote

When was the expression "best thing since sliced bread" first used?

 
JumpingJack
4996.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:00 pm Reply with quote

Good question, Mr A!

And what was the "best thing" before sliced bread?

 
JumpingJack
4997.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:03 pm Reply with quote

The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology says that 'marzipan' from the Latin meaning ‘Mark’s bread’ Marci panis but doesn’t offer any explanation as to why this should be so.

(Marci panis)

 
JumpingJack
4998.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:05 pm Reply with quote

The staple diet of ancient Babylon was unleavened bread and onions.


QIDb A –unsourced

 
JumpingJack
4999.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:06 pm Reply with quote

Their staple diet of the ancient Egyptians was bread, onions and beer.

(The onion was their favourite vegetable, apparently).

QIDbA - unsourced

 
JumpingJack
5000.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:08 pm Reply with quote

US slang for 'corn bread' is Arkansas wedding cake.

s:SLA

 
garrick92
5001.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:10 pm Reply with quote

JumpingJack wrote:
The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology says that 'marzipan' from the Latin meaning ‘Mark’s bread’ Marci panis but doesn’t offer any explanation as to why this should be so.

(Marci panis)


Isn't the word "Marzipan" something to do with some Royal Family (possibly French)?

 
JumpingJack
5002.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:58 pm Reply with quote

Nobody really knows, it seems, where the word 'marzipan' comes from.

The best marzipan traditionally came from Germany (especially Konigsberg).

Marzipan is in fact the German word for the stuff, which has over time supplanted the original English word for it – 'marchpane'

Most European languages have a similar word. Spanish 'mazapán', Dutch 'marsepein', French 'massepain' etc, but Italian ('marzapane') seems to have been the source from which the word passed into other languages.

In Johann Burchard's Diarium curiae romanae (1483-1492) the Latin form appears as 'martiapanis'. Some have explained the word as coming from Martius panis, bread of Mars, from the " towers, castles and such like " that appeared on elaborately decorated cakes.

Another derivation traces the word back to the name of a Venetian coin, 'matapanus' on which was a figure of Christ enthroned, struck by Enrico Dandolo, doge of Venice (1192-1205). From the coin, the word was applied to a small box, and hence apparently to the sweetmeat contained in it.

s:EBR 1911 s:CSD s: CDD

 
JumpingJack
5003.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:02 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
I understand the big food companies are developing a tearless onion. I think they can do it. After all, they've already given us tasteless bread.
ROBERT ORBEN


s: frf

 
JumpingJack
5004.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:04 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
If there is a pure and elevated pleasure in this world, it is a roast pheasant with bread sauce.
SYDNEY SMITH


s: SSY

 
Jenny
5011.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:31 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
"It's the greatest thing since sliced bread -- What a brilliant idea! What a fine thing! Said of ANY (emphasis mine) innovation more important than a bread slicer. Often used sarcastically. The expression originated in the mid-twentieth century. Chinese checkers, chopped liver, packaged bread, swinging doors, chewing gum, the hula hoop, or the hamburger may replace (the term) 'sliced bread' (in the expression)..." For example, "the greatest thing since the hula hoop."


From the Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman.

 
Flash
5015.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 6:36 pm Reply with quote

I personally think Velcro is better than sliced bread.

 
Frederick The Monk
5017.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 6:39 pm Reply with quote

Or possibly Tahiti.

 
Flash
5018.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 6:43 pm Reply with quote

Velcro vs Tahiti? No contest.

 
Frederick The Monk
5021.  Wed Jan 21, 2004 6:52 pm Reply with quote

Imagine if you could have both!

 

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