“Bake” and “cake”
There are many idioms with the word “bake” and “cake”. I saw an idiom that uses both words while reading a news article. The idiom I saw was “baked in the cake”. I have not used this idiom for many years. It is used to describe a situation that is inevitable or almost impossible to change. Fake news is baked in the cake in today’s digital world. This means fake news is impossible to stop because many people use social media to spread fake news. I believe climate change is baked in the cake because many world leaders are doing too little, too late, to reverse it.
In my previous column I explained that the word “beef” can also mean a complaint. Combining the words “beef” and “cake” into “beefcake” creates a different meaning. A beefcake is an attractive man with big muscles. Many people call their husbands or wives “honey” to express love or affection but the word “babycakes” has the same meaning. You are also expressing affection if you call your husband or wife babycakes. The expression “a piece of cake” doesn’t only mean a slice of cake. As an idiom it means something that is easy to do. Writing columns is not a piece of cake for me, which means it’s not easy for me to write columns.
To bake a cake means to make a cake but to bake up a storm has a different meaning. It means to do something with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. If you go to the kitchen to cook many dishes with enthusiasm, you can say you are baking up a storm.
有許多成語會用到“bake”（烤焗）和“cake”（蛋糕）兩個字。我最近讀一篇新聞報道時，就見到一個二字並用的成語，那個成語是“baked in the cake”。我已經多年沒有用過這個成語了。它是用來形容一個不能避免或近乎不可能改變的情況。在今天的數碼世界裏，假新聞是baked in the cake，意即假新聞已不能遏止，因為許多人用社交媒體去散播假新聞。我相信氣候變化亦是baked in the cake，無可避免，因為眾多世界領袖在逆轉氣候變化一事上，不是做得太少，就是做得太遲。
在上一篇文章中我解釋過，「牛肉」“beef”一字也可以解作投訴。將“beef”和“cake”結合成“beefcake”，卻能創出別樣的意思。A beefcake是指肌肉發達的健美男子。許多人會叫丈夫或妻子做“honey”（親愛的），去表達愛意，但“babycakes”也有相同的意思。若你叫你的丈夫或妻子做babycakes，你同樣在表達愛意。習語“a piece of cake”不單單是指一塊蛋糕，作為成語它也解作不費吹灰之力、輕而易舉的小菜一碟。寫專欄對我來說可不是a piece of cake，意思是我要寫專欄可並不容易。
To bake a cake是指去烘焗一個蛋糕，但 to bake up a storm則有不同的意思，它解作幹勁十足、熱情、奮力地做某事。若你充滿熱情地去廚房烹煮許多的餸菜，你便可以說你正在 baking up a storm。