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Like Taking Candy From a Baby and Other Sweet Idioms
Home Reference & Education Language
By: Bridget Sweeney Email Article
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It was "like taking candy from a baby." That's something you might say after your team won a game. This phrase is often said when something is very simple; you've gotten it done with no fuss.
How funny it is that this manner of speaking regarding an innocent child and some sweet tasting candy has made its way into our everyday vocabulary.
Idioms are phrases that mean something other than their literal meaning. Usually we don't know where particular idioms got their roots, but we know they are passed along by tradition. As Americans, we use these all the time in our everyday conversation. When we were kids, we figured out what particular idioms meant by the context in which they were being used. But if you speak another language and you're learning English, it's not so easy to pick up on phrases that are not intended to be taken literally. There are books and online resources that will tell you exactly how a certain phrase translates, but most people don't have instant access to this during a conversation. Someone unfamiliar with the language would take the literal meaning of the group of words and it would seem nonsensical. This is one reason why English is so hard to learn; there are hidden meanings everywhere! People have to ask "What does that mean? Why would you even be giving candy to a baby, and I don't think it's easy or fun taking candy away from one."

Other idioms that refer to candy are:

"A kid in a candy store."
Example: When Mr. Bennett went to the yard sale and saw all the motorcycle parts for sale, he was like a kid in a candy store.
This means he was very excited and had a hard time maintaining control. You should be able to get a visual picture in your mind of a young kid running from aisle to aisle in a candy store, not knowing where to start.

"eye candy"
Example: The college kids went to the beach every summer to check out the eye candy.
The term eye candy is meant to describe something that is attractive. In advertising it can mean a person, a car, an accessory, or anything that you carry which visually embellishes how you present yourself.

These examples point to the fact that candy has such a broad appeal. There is a common understanding throughout our culture that a love for it exists from infancy (that is if you would give a baby candy) through adulthood. What other thing would you dare to take out of the hands of a baby?

Bridget Sweeney is the owner of Woodstock Candy, an online store that specializes in retro and nostalgic candy gift boxes. Please visit Woodstock Candy for all your favorite old time candies.

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