Throw good money after bad

Throw good money after bad is an idiom. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom throw good money after bad, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

To throw good money after bad means to continue to spend money in order to recoup losses. The idiom refers to bad money, which is money that was wasted on a bad investment, shoddy merchandise, or a swindle. Good money is money that the speaker still has in his possession and has not wasted. The idiom is usually expressed as an admonishment: don’t throw good money after bad. It is also be used as an observation: one is throwing good money after bad. The idea is that merely expending more money will not fix a problem. The expression came into use in the mid-1700s. Related phrases are throws good money after bad, threw good money after bad, throwing good money after bad.


I don’t support Marin Supervisor Damon Connolly’s compromise — why throw good money after bad — and I believe the third lane should be returned to vehicular traffic. (Marin Independent Journal)

Militarizing the IRS without scrutinizing its history of racially disparate enforcement would throw good money after bad. (New York Daily News)

As the market drops precipitously, it may seem like you are throwing good money after bad to keep contributing a percentage of your income to a 401(k) or a similar workplace retirement plan when you have an urgent need for cash.  (Reuters)

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