Take it or leave it

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Take it or leave it is an idiom with roots in the 1300s. We will examine the meaning of the idiom take it or leave it, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Take it or leave it is an idiom that is an admonition to either take the item or proposition offered, or accept no item or proposition. The expression take it or leave it means that the person will not offer any alternatives and will not negotiate. The famous phrase take it or leave it is found as far back as the 1300s and is used several times in the plays of William Shakespeare. Take it or leave it is a Hobson’s choice, in which one may take what is offered or nothing at all.


“The way the State implemented the Emergency Order’s directives presented local school districts with a ‘Hobson’s Choice’ to essentially ‘take it or leave it,’” the lawyers wrote. (The Tampa Bay Times)

For all these years Marshmallow Fluff has been a favorite snack food for many, while others could, frankly, take it or leave it. (The Somerville Times)

He proceeded to describe how health plans have become more democratized, and individual consumers have options rather than the take-it-or-leave-it experience of the past. (Becker’s Hospital Review)