While it is commonly attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette, there is no record of this phrase ever having been said by her. It appears in Jean-Jacques Rousseau‘s Confessions, his autobiography (whose first six books were written in 1765, when Marie Antoinette was nine years of age, and published in 1782). Cultures have adopted the spirit of this phrase to fit into their own languages.
In Russian the (translated) phrase is “You can’t sit on two chairs.”
In German, the saying goes “You can’t dance at two weddings.”
In Yiddish, the adage goes much like the German, except “one tuchis” is added on to the end. Tuchis is Yiddish for backside, or less delicately, the butt; so, “You can’t sit on two chairs with the same butt.”
Later published in A Dialogue Conteynyng Prouerbes and Epigrammes by John Heywood in 1562. Heywood switches the clauses so it reads, “Wolde ye bothe eate your cake, and haue your cake?” (Several other well-known phrases or “figures of speech” have been attributed to Heywood, including “two heads are better than one” and “Rome was not built in a day.”)
To use or spend something and still keep it, to have something both ways
The man refuses to give up anything and he always wants to eat his cake and have it too.