No more cakes and ale?


      • discourage someone
        Advise against engaging in a particular activity or task, cautioning that it will not result in any positive outcome or benefit

      • express disbelief or disappointment
        Express surprise or disappointment at a sudden turn of events or a change in plans

    Examples of No more cakes and ale?

    • After indulging in rich desserts and alcoholic beverages for a week-long vacation, my body is screaming "No more cakes and ale?" in protest.

      This is a figurative expression meaning that it's time to stop indulging in pleasurable but excessive activities, such as eating sweets and drinking alcohol, and instead focus on more serious or necessary tasks. The original meaning of the idiom refers to monks leaving their monasteries and engaging in worldly pleasures. The modern use has extended to include any situation where one must end extravagant indulgences and instead return to regular routines or duties.

    • After indulging in rich desserts and alcoholic beverages for weeks, the doctor prescribed a strict diet and ordered my patient to say goodbye to "cakes and ale."

      The idiom "no more cakes and ale?" is used to mean that someone must stop enjoying indulgent pleasures and face reality or take a more serious and responsible course of action. In this example, the doctor is asking the patient to give up their former indulgent habits and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

    • During the budget meeting, the CEO announced that the company could no longer afford to offer daily lunches, happy hours, and other luxuries to the employees. He declared, "I'm afraid we've had our 'cakes and ale' for long enough. It's time to tighten our belts and focus on the bottom line."

      In this business context, the use of the idiom "no more cakes and ale?" means that the company can no longer afford to waste resources on extravagant luxuries, and must adopt a more disciplined and prudent approach to manage finances. The CEO is essentially asking his employees to face the harsh reality and adapt to the new, more restrained work environment.

    • As a dedicated student, Sarah had been studying day and night, consuming plenty of "cakes and ale" in the process. But after several sleepless nights and missed meals, she realized that she could not sustain this excessive academic indulgence. She announced to her friends, "I fear we've had too much 'cakes and ale.' It's time to get some sleep, eat some real food, and learn to balance our academic and personal lives."

      In this academic context, the use of the idiom "no more cakes and ale?" means that Sarah must learn to prioritize her well-being and balance her academic pursuits with other essential aspects of her life, such as sleep and nourishment. She is essentially asking her friends to follow suit and adopt a healthier, more sustainable study routine.

    • After months of traveling and indulging in local delicacies and drinks, Jane returned home with a new perspective on life. She proclaimed, "I'm afraid we've had our 'cakes and ale.' It's time to embrace a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle."

      In this travel context, the use of the idiom "no more cakes and ale?" means that Jane has gained a new appreciation for minimalism, simplicity, and sustainability during her travels. She is essentially asking herself and others to adopt a similar outlook on life and prioritize essential experiences over frivolous pleasures.


    The idiom "No more cakes and ale?" can be used to discourage someone from engaging in a particular activity or to express disbelief or disappointment in a situation.

    Origin of "No more cakes and ale?"

    The origin of the idiom "No more cakes and ale?" can be traced back to William Shakespeare's play "Twelfth Night." In Act II, Scene III of the play, the character Sir Toby Belch uses the phrase to express his disappointment at the end of the revelry and the return to everyday life. The idiom has since become a well-known expression in the English language, used to convey the idea that the enjoyment or celebration has come to an end.

    The phrase "cakes and ale" represents indulgence and pleasure, and the question "No more cakes and ale?" implies that the enjoyment or festivity has come to an abrupt end, leading to disappointment or disbelief. Over time, the idiom has been used in various contexts to express a sense of disillusionment or to caution against unrealistic expectations.