Crème de la crème

Crème de la crème translates into "cream of the cream," in cooking terms meaning cream undergoing a deluxe treatment.


The phrase also has a figurative meaning that it is most commonly known by, this being: the top, the best of the best or somewhat elite, also expressed as "the cream of the crop." Analogues can be drawn to the cooking term, meaning in some terms the same thing.


Its origins have been traced to the decade 1840-1850,[1] but its popularity in modern English (it is less common in modern French)[2] is attributed to its use by the lead character in Muriel Spark's 1961 novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, in which the intensely authoritative girl's school teacher refers to her charges with this epithet.[3] The line from the novel reads, "'I am putting old heads on your young shoulders,' Miss Brodie had told them at that time, 'and all my pupils are the crème de la crème.'"[4]

See also:

Synonyms - Cream of the crop, best of the best

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.