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

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Contributor: Josef Essberger