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Cakewalk

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  • A cakewalk is a task that is surprisingly easy to complete. Frequently, an admonition about the difficulty of a project is expressed by the sentiment that something will “not be a cakewalk“. Cakewalk comes into the English language in the Southern United States in 1863, from the words cake and walk. A cakewalk was a competitive dance performed by black slaves which mocked the over-refined manners that plantation owners employed at their formal balls. The winner or winning couple of these competitions was awarded a cake. Plantation owners often knew about these get-togethers, and ignored them as harmless. Whether or not the plantation owners understood that they were being mocked is unclear. The figurative meaning of a task that is surprisingly easy to complete was attached to the word cakewalk as soon as it was coined. Cakewalk is sometimes found spelled as cake walk and cake-walk, the correct rendering is one word: cakewalk. Today, cakewalk may also refer to a game of chance at local fairs and church bazaars which entails walking around a circle marked with numbers until the music stops, one of those numbers is randomly drawn and the winner receives a cake.

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    Examples

    The winter session of the state Assembly starting from Monday at Nagpur is unlikely to be a cakewalk for the government as they are most likely to face the wrath of ally Shiv Sena, apart from being cornered by the opposition over issues like drought, price hike of pulses and corruption charges against ministers. (The Free Press Journal)

    Cohen said Rubin told him that the POW camp was “a cakewalk” compared with Mauthausen. (The Sun Sentinel)

    While interviews and profiles of each contender may have seemed like a cakewalk in some regards, the cooking was high-pressure, just as it looks on TV, the couple said. (The Milford Mirror)

     

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