Like taking candy from a baby

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Like taking candy from a baby is an American idiom that first appeared around the turn of the twentieth century. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning.  We will examine the definition of the phrase like taking candy from a baby, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Like taking candy from a baby describes something that is very easy to do. The idiom carries the connotation of doing something unfair or shameful because it is so easy to do, and is often used to describe an action that is sneaky or underhanded. Obviously, a baby can not defend himself against an adult. The idiom like taking candy from a baby pops up in the early twentieth century, the earliest use was by Clarence Louis Cullen in his 1900 collection of short stories, Taking Chances. The phrase like taking candy from a baby is a simile, which is a comparison between two things in a phrase that begins with the word like or the word as.


Various party honchos insist that taking health insurance away from 20 million Americans will be like taking candy from a baby, because the babies don’t like the candy. (The New York Magazine)

Parenthetically, our campaign to turn college millennials against capitalism, free speech, Fox News, and their parents’ values is meeting with spectacular success – although I must admit it is a bit like taking candy from a baby, so to speak. (The Washington Examiner)

Morrison said she told Aramark food service director Monique Herard that the situation wasn’t right, and that “it’s like taking candy from a baby.” (The Valley Breeze)

Want to have more idioms in your arsenal? Check out some others we covered:

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