Sophie's choice

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the title of the book Sophie's Choice, by William Styron, in which a mother is forced to decide which of her children will die.

Noun[edit]

Sophie's choice (plural Sophie's choices)

  1. A choice between two persons or things that will result in the death or destruction of the person or thing not chosen.
    • 2004 Wednesday, March 17, Bradley Graham, “Simulated Attacks Repelled In Antimissile War Game; U.S. Almost Exhausted Arsenal of Interceptors”, Washington Post, page A03:
      As things turned out, all the enemy missiles were destroyed in flight -- two were hit very early after launch by an airborne laser system -- and a Sophie's choice was averted."
    • 2004 March 2, “Committees OK boost for KidCare; Panels vote for additional $25M”, Tallahassee Democrat:
      We've been given a Sophie's Choice,' said Senate Minority Leader Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton. 'We can improperly care for some children vs. improperly care for other children.'

See also[edit]