heads I win, tails you lose
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- Said to describe a conflict in which someone has a particular advantage from the start.
- 1790, Sir David Dalrymple, The Little Freeholder, a Dramatic Entertainment, in Two Acts, page 31:
- I suppose it is just as if he had said to me, "Heads I win, tails you lose." I thought that it was against law; but this man, Lord they call him, quieted me with his reciprocity.
- 1922, Jim Tully, Emmett Lawler, page 163:
- I'll flip a coin, heads I win, tails you lose—and the loser must tell a story
- 2011, Christopher Hitchens, Arguably: Selected Essays, page 14:
- So here was an early instance of the "heads I win, tails you lose" dilemma, in which the United States is faced with corrupt regimes, on the one hand, and Islamic militants, on the other—or indeed a collusion between them.