One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Make something no longer attractive or desirable.
- ‘I have achieved my goal of swimming a mile in a session but I can't stop myself from deducting a yard from every other length, which takes the gilt off the gingerbread.’
- ‘Rather takes the gilt off the gingerbread doesn't it?’
- ‘I am sure the fact that he's being included to ‘add interest’ (so help us) will in no way take the gilt off the gingerbread for him.’
- ‘I went on several of these walks, but it was a shame that we were accompanied by a large number of sentries that took the gilt off the gingerbread.’
- ‘That rather took the gilt off the gingerbread.’
- ‘The fact is they want London and although it might be possible for the World Athletics Championships to go to Manchester, I think it will in many ways, take the gilt off the gingerbread.’
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