“Cream of the Crop” Meaning, Origin and Great Examples

“Cream of the crop” is a phrase that you may encounter quite frequently while interacting with people on an everyday basis. In this article about this idiomatic phrase, you will find the meaning, the story of this phrase’s origin, and some example sentences and conversation to help you better you the phrase yourself. In conclusion, you will see some alternatives to using this phrase that you can use to convey the same meaning during a conversation.

Cream of the Crop

“Cream of the Crop” Meaning

The idiom “cream of the crop” means the best representation of something from a large group. In other words, a select few that excel or are the best examples.

Origin of this Idiom

The word “cream” has been used since the 16th century to mean “the best part of something.” Before the 1800s, the French were using the phrase “la créme de la créme” meaning “the cream of the cream.” It was not until sometime during the 1800s that the phrase “cream of the crop” was first heard in English. It has been used ever since to convey the meaning stated above.

Alternatives to “Cream of the Crop”

There are many other terms you can substitute for the phrase “cream of the crop” that will still convey the same meaning. Some of the things you could say alternatively include:

  • The best of the best
  • The créme de la créme
  • Bees knees
  • The icing on the cake
  • Best of everything

“Cream of the Crop” Examples

Example Sentences

  • I am not surprised that Ronald received the award for employee of the month for the third time; he is the cream of the crop.
  • The apples from the orchard down the road from me are the cream of the crop.
  • The students at this college are the cream of the crop.
  • He has always turned out teams who, until recently, were the cream of the crop in terms of style.
  • She is really the cream of the crop.

Example Conversations

A conversation between two friends at school.

  • Friend 1: I am so glad that Mary received the honor of being named Valedictorian for our class.
  • Friend 2: Yes, I am so happy for her too! She deserves it for how hard she has worked all year.
  • Friend 1: For sure! She is the cream of the crop!

A conversation between two co-workers talking about another co-worker at the office.

  • Co-worker 1: Hey, it is Sam’s 40th birthday this Friday. I think we should do something special for her.
  • Co-worker 2: I agree! She deserves something special since she is the cream of the crop!

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