the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English

There's no such thing as a free lunch

This page is about the saying "There's no such thing as a free lunch"

American English

Possible interpretation:
We cannot get something for nothing. We must pay for everything. Nothing in life is free.

Origin: Often attributed to the American economist and Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman (1912-2006), this saying was around at least by the 1950s. Friedman popularized but did not originate it.

Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz:

If "there's no such thing as a free lunch", everything has

a. an end

b. a cost

c. a maker

Saying of the Day

This entry is in the following categories:

Contributor: Josef Essberger