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 meaning:
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.


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

Contributor: Josef Essberger