Six of one, half a dozen of the other

Six of one, half a dozen of the other is an idiom. We will examine the meaning of the idiom six of one, half a dozen of the other, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other means that two alternatives will render the same outcome; two options are virtually the same; there is no difference between two possibilities. When two alternatives are six of one, half a dozen of the other, it does not matter which alternative you choose–the outcome will be the same. The expression comes from the fact that half a dozen is an expression that means six. The idiom six of one, half a dozen of the other came into use in the 1700s. The earliest known use of the expression occurred in a journal kept by a British naval officer, Ralph Clark, in 1790. The phrase most almost certainly in use before Clark wrote it in his journal.

Examples

Six of one, half a dozen of the other: The filmmakers’ decision to stay out of the way and shape the story largely in the editing room bears different returns – a less mediated, more immersive, and ultimately quite moving portrait of hopeful youths headed into a harder adulthood. (The Austin Chronicle)

To the charge of assaulting the 10-year-old, he replied: “I didn’t think I assaulted him – I know it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other but I didn’t think I assaulted him.” (The Irish Examiner)

He says when comparing the security and quality of open source and commercial software “it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other”. (The Guardian)

Leave a Comment