I was just asked about the origin of the phrase “can’t hold a candle to,” and now that I’ve looked it up I’m going to share it with you all. In the words of the OED:
to hold a candle to another: lit. to assist him by holding the candle while he works; hence, to help in a subordinate position. not to be able or fit to hold a candle to: not fit to hold even a subordinate position to, nothing to be compared to.
My favorite of the citations: 1773 BYROM Poems, Others aver that he to Handel Is scarcely fit to hold a candle.