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Never give a sucker an even break

  1. Don't hesitate to take advantage of a fool.


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Notes

This saying served as the title for one of the films of the comedian W. C. Fields .

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Idioms and Phrases

Don't allow a person who's easily duped a fair chance, as in He's always trying to give out expired coupons for his store, firmly believing in never giving a sucker an even break . Probably a direct quotation, it has been attributed to showman P. T. Barnum (responsible for the oft-quoted “There's a sucker born every minute”); and comedian W. C. Fields (who popularized it in one of his films); and theater manager Edward Francis Albee, the most probable of the three. [ Slang ; early 1900s]

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Definitions and idiom definitions from Dictionary.com Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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