On this show, we explore language. Where perform expressions come from? and also how do we use them?

Today us go under on the farm – the dairy farm, to it is in exact.

You are watching: What does cream of the crop mean

Many woman animals, such as cows and also goats, produce milk for their young. Cream is the fat in milk. And we use cream from farm animals to make plenty of tasty foods. We also use cream in some really great expressions!

Let’s start with the finest of the best – the cream of the crop!

You’re the cream the the crop. You the tip of the top.

You’re the ideal of the finest – front of the rest.

(Sister Sledge sings “Cream of the Crop” native 1976.)

When friend let milk sit, cream rises come the top. The cream is taken into consideration to be the ideal tasting part of milk. So, if miscellaneous is the “cream of the crop,” it the ideal of that is kind. Because that example, the apples native a farm near my residence are the best, I could say they room the cream the the crop.

But English speakers usage this expression because that just around anything, not simply food or drink.

We can describe human being this way. For example, the students provided at the height of their class are normally the cream of the crop.

The noun “cream” has been offered to average "the best" due to the fact that the 16th century. The French expression la crème de la crème method "the cream of the cream." and it came right into use in English by the year 1800.

These days, we typically use crème de la crème in informal, daily speech. You can regularly hear american say this also if they have never talked French in your lives. For part reason, they drop the an initial article “la”. (Well, possibly the factor is that they do not actually speak French.)

Now, earlier to foods!

Cream is offered in numerous foods. Naturally, you requirements cream to do a cream puff! A cream puff is a irradiate and delicate pastry filled v sweet cream. They space a well-known treat and can be really delicious.

Outside that the bakery, however, cream puffs can likewise describe a person.

If you speak to a male a “cream puff,” you are saying that is weak – both physically and mentally. And he is really no that an excellent at anything.

Now, a cream puff you obtain from the bakery is delicate and can fall around easily. So, as soon as talking about a woman, a cream puff is a delicate female.

I know she doesn"t really want to stay. Be mindful how you hold her. Please don’t ever scold her. She’s my cream puff.

(UB40 sings “Cream Puff.”)

However, I would not suggest calling a woman a “cream puff.” It’s best to leave the cream puffs in the bakery.

Talking around baked good, numerous are made through butter. And also butter comes from cream!

You start with a bowl filled v fresh cream. If friend beat the cream again and again, you will get butter. Many dessert recipes call for mixing, or creaming, butter with other ingredients like sugar.

Creaming butter is vital part of making part foods. It deserve to take some time and arm toughness to cream butter, specifically if it is cold. You should beat and beat the butter till it i do not care soft.

So, it is not surprising that once you obtain creamed in real life, you acquire beaten badly. Friend can gain creamed in a sporting event. If your basketball team loses by 30 point out -- girlfriend guys gained creamed.

Usually there is an opponent who creams you. So, if you carry out poorly top top a test, you would certainly not say you obtained creamed. The would average you were competing against other students and they won.

We also use the term “creamed” as soon as talking about a physical beating. So, if who beats you increase -- which us hope will never happen -- you can say that human being creamed you. (That is terrible and also we are so sorry.)

But maybe the human who creamed friend is a great friend. Lock apologized, and also now, whatever seems better. You can say that everything in between you is currently peaches and cream. This way a instance that started off badly or was going bad is now very much improved.

Here is one more example. And this one does no involve anyone acquiring "beat up."

Let’s say a new business acquired off come a negative start. The office room was in bad shape. The product beginning failed. And also several investor pulled out. But now, a year later, the company is transforming a profit, the workplaces are beautiful and also all the investors are happy. Every little thing is peaches and also cream!

Peaches and cream is additionally used to define a woman’s skin. This means her skin is creamy, clear and also soft. I beg your pardon is strange, once you think about it. Peaches are usually yellowish-orange and also a tiny fuzzy. That would typical someone with a peaches-and-cream skin would look a little orange and also a small hairy.

But that doesn’t mean that. Together we often say, English is funny that way!

And that’s Words and Their Stories. I’m Anna Matteo.

Your last return will not diminish

And you deserve to be the cream the the crop;

It"s not where you start, it"s where you finish,

And you"re gonna end up on top!

Anna Matteo wrote this story for VOA finding out English. George prosper was the editor. The tune at the finish is Tommy song singing “It’s Not wherein You Start, It’s whereby You Finish,” indigenous the musical Seesaw.

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Words in This Story

dairy n. an establishment for the revenue or circulation chiefly the milk and milk products

delicate adj. conveniently torn or damaged

pastry n. usually sweet baked goods made that dough having actually a high fat content

delicious adj. appealing to one of the bodily senses specifically of taste or smell