as often as not

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

as often as not

  1. (idiomatic) More or less half of the time; on many occasions but not always; frequently.
    • 1841, Charles Dickens, chapter 7, in The Old Curiosity Shop:
      "[T]hese old people—there's no trusting them, Fred. . . . [Y]ou can't calculate upon 'em, and even then they deceive you just as often as not."
    • 1896, Robert Louis Stevenson, "The Persons of the Tale" in Fables:
      "I am a man that tries to do his duty, and makes a mess of it as often as not."
    • 1910, H. G. Wells, chapter 7, in The History of Mr. Polly:
      [I]f he discovered a sale where there were books he would as often as not waste half the next day in going again to acquire a job lot of them.
    • 1918, Edgar Wallace, chapter 7, in The Man Who Knew:
      The hall porter said that, as often as not, the flat was untenanted.
    • 2012 Oct. 24, Eamon Javers, "Spies and Co.," New York Times (retrieved 29 Oct 2013):
      As often as not, the perpetrators have been other Americans — motivated not by patriotism for a foreign flag, but by simple profit.

See also[edit]