to the victor belong the spoils
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The winner gets everything, as in He not only won the tournament but ended up with numerous lucrative endorsements—to the victor belong the spoils. This expression alludes to the spoils system of American politics, whereby the winner of an election gives desirable jobs to party supporters. [First half of 1800s]
THINGAMABOB OR THINGUMMY: CAN YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE US AND UK TERMS IN THIS QUIZ?
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…
Words nearby to the victor belong the spoils
to the nth degree, to the point, tother, to the teeth, to the tune of, to the victor belong the spoils, to the wall, toti-, totidem verbis, toting, totipalmate
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.