(As) Easy As Pie – Meaning, Origin

Meaning:

If something is “as easy as pie,” that means it is simple to do. It’s a job or task that is easy, requiring little effort; a piece of cake.

Example: My friend wanted to get a pet, but he was stumped on whether he should go with a dog or a cat. I suggested a cat based on my experience, because I find them to be as easy as pie to care for.

Note: This phrase is commonly used as a simile, so the word “as” will often precede it.

Synonyms: a piece of cake, a walk in the park, easy-peasy lemon squeezy

It's as easy as pie.
I could go for a slice of pie right about now.

The Origin of ‘Easy as Pie’

This phrase may come from the pleasantness and ease involved when eating a delicious pie. Indeed, whether it is a savory pie or a sweet one, they are delectable and therefore easy to eat. A similar expression is ‘a piece of cake,’ and both of these expressions not only share the same meaning, but they may have similar origin stories too.

During the 19th century, the word ‘pie’ was used to describe someone who acted kindly to another person. Let’s look at an example of that. In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, 1885, take a look at how the word ‘pie’ was used:

“You’re always as polite as pie to them.”

Two years later, the phrase is seen in various newspapers, so it must have been a common phrase at that time, at least to some degree. This example comes from The Newport Mercury newspaper, 1887, where it reads:

“You see veuever I goes I takes away mit me a silverspoon or a knife or somethings, an’ I gets two or three dollars for them. It’s easy as pie. Vy don’t you try it?”

In summary, this idiom goes back to at least the late 19th century.


Example Sentences

  • When I’m making breakfast in the morning, I usually go with a bowl of cereal because it’s easy as pie to make.
  • Janice never learned how to swim, so she’s always had a fear of the water. However, she recently took swimming lessons and now she finds swimming to be as easy as pie; she is no longer afraid.

Note: The origin of some or even many common expressions and phrases are unclear. In such cases, what will be listed are plausible theories that speculate how it may have originated. In general, an effort is made to include the earliest known quotation of the phrase. The purpose of such quotes is to provide some idea on how far back in history the particular expression goes.


Sharing is caring!