Which is correct when referring to the punishment gotten by an evil-doer: just deserts or just desserts?
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"Just deserts" refer to the consequences that are deserved. However, "desserts" refer to a part of a meal. Changing the spelling of the word in this case changes the meaning entirely, unlike the examples above.
Therefore, "just deserts" is deserved consequences and "just desserts"(there is no such phrase) refers to a deserved refreshment after a meal.
On my NOAD, the third meaning of "desert" is this one:
Then it gives one entry in the Phraseology section:
Finally, the etymology:
There is also an entry on the OALD.
The problem here is that in the phrase "just deserts", the word is pronounced identically to "desserts". The word "deserts" isn't actually all that commonly used outside of this idiom, so most people think that spelling refers only to a geographic zone receiving minimal rainfall (e.g. Sahara desert). "Just Desserts" is simply a spelling error, unless it is being used as the name of a bistro specializing in after-dinner snacks.
The correct phrase is just deserts.
According to Wiktionary,
protected by Will Hunting Nov 17 '12 at 6:21
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