Half a loaf is better than none and half a loaf is better than no bread

Half a loaf is better than none and half a loaf is better than no bread are two versions of a proverb. We will examine the meaning of the proverb half a loaf is better than none or half a loaf is better than no bread, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Half a loaf is better than none means that it is better to receive less than what one wants or needs than to receive nothing at all. Half a loaf is better than none is primarily the American version of the proverb; half a loaf is better than no bread is primarily the British version of the proverb. The expression half a loaf is better than none or half a loaf is better than no bread can be traced to John Heywood’s 1546 work, A Dialogue containing the number in effect of all the Prouerbes in the English tongue: “Throwe no gyft agayne at the giuers head, For better is halfe a lofe then no bread.”

Examples

Unfortunately, while acting on the premise that half a loaf is better than none, he was instantly upbraided by members of the special entertainment and culture committee for not checking with them first. (Jerusalem Post)

We won’t lie to you; a lot of people hang onto a failing and sometimes toxic relationship because they wrongfully think half a loaf is better than none at all.  (Jamaica Observer)

For those who can afford to live elsewhere, it is a case of ‘half a loaf is better than no bread’.  (Borneo Post)

“But half a loaf is better than no bread and if the over-75s end up getting free TV licences, we can lobby Westminster subsequent to that.” (Belfast Telegraph)

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