What Does “Crème de la Crème” Mean?

Uncover the rich history behind the French idiom 'crème de la crème', used to describe the highest quality and elite in various fields.

Origins and Meaning

Crème de la crème is a French idiom that has been adopted into the English language.

It is used to describe the best of the best or the highest quality of something.

The idiom has become a popular expression in English and is often used in both formal and informal contexts.

Etymology

The literal translation of crème de la crème is “cream of the cream”.

The phrase is derived from the French word “crème”, which means cream.

The idiom is thought to have originated in France in the 19th century and was used to describe the highest quality cream that was used to make butter.

The cream that rose to the top of the milk was considered the best and was used to make the finest butter.

Literal Translation

The expression “crème de la crème” is often used to describe the highest quality or the best of something.

For example, “The restaurant only serves the crème de la crème of French cuisine.” The phrase is also used to describe a group of people who are considered to be the best in their field.

For example, “The crème de la crème of the fashion industry attended the event.”

Figurative Use

The idiom is often used figuratively to describe the best of the best or the most elite group of people or things.

It is commonly used in the fields of art, music, sports, and business.

For example, “The company only hires the crème de la crème of employees.” The phrase is also used to describe a group of people who are considered to be the elite or the upper class.

Examples

  • The crème de la crème of the fashion industry attended the event.
  • The restaurant only serves the crème de la crème of French cuisine.
  • The company only hires the crème de la crème of employees.

Synonyms