Glossary Home Idioms

The best of both worlds

“The best of both worlds” is an idiom that describes getting everything one wants. It’s used when a situation turns out perfectly.

The phrase is used when someone wants to state that a situation has turned out in the best possible way. The pros of both sides, options, or situations have come true. For example, winning the lottery and maintaining one’s genuine friendships and relationships or getting to eat whatever one wants and not gaining weight. The phrase can be used in a wide variety of situations and may even make its way into more professional conversations and debates. 

The best of both worlds meaning


Meaning

“The best of both worlds” is an idiom that describes getting everything one wants. It’s used when a situation turns out perfectly.

If you get “the best of both worlds,” you’re getting everything you wanted. For example, if you were trying to choose between two alternatives, such as going to the beach or the mountains, or having cake or ice cream for dessert, and you end up getting to do/have both, then you can say you’ve gotten the best of both worlds. In some situations, a combination of the two may be the best end result one could get. For example, visiting mountains along the seashore or having an ice cream cake. 

Origins

The phrase “the best of both worlds” is thought to date back to the bible and a reference that someone who does good deeds in the name of God and helps others is going to be received in Heaven. They are getting the “best of both worlds,” the earthly world and the spiritual world. Today, the phrase is not used in a religious manner. This is a common feature of idioms and proverbs. They often change over time, shifting from the original meaning and even the original phrasing into something more contemporary. 

The phrase became popular in the 1900s and has since become so commonly used that it’s often considered cliché

When To Use “The best of both worlds”

It’s possible to use “the best of both worlds” in a variety of situations. It can be used among friends, family members, colleagues, and even in some professional situations. It’s quite well-known, meaning that it’s unlikely you’re going to use it and encounter someone who has never heard it before. If that does happen, it’s more than likely they’re going to be able to figure out what you meant by the phrase without you having to explain it in detail. 

Idioms like this one are commonly used in conversations between friends and family members, but this one is also suitable for more serious situations, For example, when debating two possible positive outcomes at a business meeting and trying to figure out how to get the “best of both worlds” and not miss out on anything from either option.

Example Sentences

  • I hope we can get the best of both worlds. 
  • She really thinks that if she works hard enough she can get the best of both worlds. 
  • Is it possible to get the best of both worlds? 
  • I ended up with the best of both worlds with my pets. 
  • You’re only going to get the best of both worlds in your dreams. 
  • My dad seems to believe that I can’t have the best of both worlds. 


Why Do Writers Use “The best of both worlds?” 

Writers use “the best of both worlds” in the same way and for the same reasons that people use the phrase in everyday conversations. It’s possible and even simple to incorporate it into a dialogue between two characters. It’s also possible to come upon it when reading a narrator’s description of a scene or experience. For example, someone might be observing their friend and comment, perhaps depressingly, that this person appears to have the “best of both worlds” when the narrator doesn’t. In another situation, the phrase might be used as a way of coming to a compromise. For example, saying that you’re going to seek out an agreement that combines the “best of both worlds” and makes both sides happy. 

FAQs 

Why do people use “the best of both worlds?”

People use “the best of both worlds” when they want to suggest they’ve received the pros of two different alternatives or that they’re trying to figure out a way to be in that situation. One might also use it in the negative sense to say that they’ve missed out on the best of both worlds. 

How do you use “the best of both worlds” in a sentence?

You could say that a situation you’re in is “the best of both worlds” or that you’re trying to reach a compromise that allows both sides to have the “best of both worlds.” 

Who said “the best of both worlds?” 

It’s unclear who the first person to say “the best of both worlds” is. But, there is a famous quote from the bible that contains a similar phrasing. It suggests that someone who follows God’s word on earth is going to receive the best of both worlds. 


Similar Idioms 

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