Cream will rise to the top

Discussion in 'English Only' started by minhduc, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. minhduc Senior Member

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    Hi all

    Please explain to me the meaning of the sentence in the title of this. It's from Love letters by Katie Fforde. The context is a teacher is talking to the students in a writing course.

    "Isn't it a good thing to hear the very worst-case scenario? We know that there's a lot of talent in this room, and while I don't think any of you are best friends with the head of a major publishing house, we have seen the immense amount of work and dedication you're capable of, and I know that talent and perseverance are the most important things. Cream will rise to the top. Just you lot go and be cream!"

  2. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    Here is an explanation:
  3. Tazzler Senior Member

    American English
    "cream" is often used to mean the best of something, especially in the expression "the cream of the crop".
  4. Languagethinkerlover Senior Member

    English-British and U.S.
    Usually people who are on the top are the best of the best so since cream will rise to the top, the students will be cream and they (the very talented) will rise to the top.
  5. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    A side note on the meaning explained above:

    This figurative saying refers to the fact that when you let milk that has not been homogenized or otherwise treated sit for a while, the cream will separate from the rest of the milk and form a layer at the top. It rises to the top naturally.

    Cream is the richest and so the 'best' part of the milk. According to the saying, it is similarly natural for the best and most talented students to rise to the top ~ for their talent to become visible.

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