there’s no such thing as a free lunch


there’s no such thing as a free lunch
Originally a colloquial axiom in US economics, though now in general use. The proverb implies that you cannot get something for nothing.

1967 R. A. HEINLEIN Moon is Harsh Mistress xi. ‘Oh, “tanstaafl.” Means “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” And isn’t,’ I added, pointing to a FREE LUNCH sign across the room, ‘or these drinks would cost half as much.’

1969 Newsweek 29 Dec. 52 I was taught..the first and only law of economics: ‘There is no such thing as a free lunch.’

1971 New Yorker 25 Sept. 76 There is no such thing as a free lunch... The idea has proved so illuminating for environmental problems that I am borrowing it from its original source, economics.

1979 L. ST. CLAIR Obsessions xi. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. So, in return for your help, what do you ask?

2001 Spectator 29 Dec. 26 I believe that the old saying ‘There is no such thing as a free lunch’ applies here. Pornography and permissiveness will have a price.


Proverbs new dictionary.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • there is no such thing as a free lunch — ► used for saying that you cannot get something for nothing: »We all like the idea of more time off work but there is no such thing as a free lunch. Main Entry: ↑lunch …   Financial and business terms

  • there's no such thing as a free lunch — This idiom means that you don t get things for free, so if something appears to be free, there s a catch and you ll have to pay in some way …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • there's no such thing as a free lunch — ► used to say that nothing is free even if it appears to be, for example, if someone gives you something they probably want something back from you in return Main Entry: ↑free …   Financial and business terms

  • there's no such thing as a free lunch — ► there s no such thing as a free lunch proverb it isn t possible to get something for nothing. Main Entry: ↑lunch …   English terms dictionary

  • There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch — TANSTAAFL ist eine Abkürzung für die Englische Redewendung „There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch“, die durch den Science Fiction Autor Robert A. Heinlein in seinem Roman The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress von 1966 populär gemacht wurde. [1][2] Der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • There's no such thing as a free lunch. — something that you say which means that if someone gives you something, they always expect you to give them something or to do something for them. He offered me a room in his house, but he seems to expect me to do all the housework. I should have …   New idioms dictionary

  • there's no such thing as a free lunch —    This idiom means that you don t get things for free, so if something appears to be free, there s a catch and you ll have to pay in some way.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • There's no such thing as a free lunch —   This idiom means that you don t get things for free, so if something appears to be free, there s a catch and you ll have to pay in some way …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • there's no such thing as a free lunch — used for saying that people cannot get something good without working hard or giving something in exchange …   English dictionary

  • there's no such thing as a free lunch — …   Useful english dictionary


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