What does the idiom "The best thing since sliced bread" mean?

You are wondering about the meaning of the phrase The best thing since sliced bread, maybe you heard it in a TV show, movie or theater play. Although this idiom is not used very often, it enriches your capacity of expression and strengthens communication. In which case is the expression The best thing since sliced bread used and what is its meaning?

Meaning of "The best thing since sliced bread"


The idiom 'The best thing since sliced bread' can be used to describe something you think is especially good or useful. It is a hyperbolic expression that is used to emphasize that something is incredibly impressive and revolutionary. This phrase typically refers to something new and innovative which is useful and impressive in comparison to the past.


This phrase originated in the United States in the early 20th century and refers to the invention of the bread slicing machine. This invention, although seemingly simple and insignificant at the time, revolutionized the speed and ease of making breakfast for the masses. Hence, this phrase is used to compare something new and innovative to the once revolutionary sliced bread.


This idiom is typically used to describe something new and innovative that is impressive in comparison to what came before. It is sometimes used in an exaggerated manner to emphasize something’s positive qualities, as the phrase carries a slight sense of hyperbole. It can be used in both an informal and formal setting, however the most common usage of the phrase is in informal conversations.

Example Sentences

  • This new app is the best thing since sliced bread!
  • The new invention is being called the best thing since sliced bread.
  • I think this new product is the best thing since sliced bread.

The meanings of the words in the "The best thing since sliced bread" idiom

The Surprising Origins of Everyday English Idioms

Many English idioms have surprisingly dark origins, often rooted in violence, death, and superstition. For instance, the phrase "raining cats and dogs" is said to have originated in the 17th century, when heavy rain would often cause dead animals to wash up on the streets. Meanwhile, the idiom "rule of thumb" is believed to have originated from a law that allowed men to beat their wives with a stick no thicker than their thumb.


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