if you can’t beat them, join them

Lick is more usual in the US.

1941 Q. REYNOLDS Wounded don’t Cry i. There is an old political adage which says ‘If you can’t lick ’em, jine ‘em’.

1953 P. GALLICO Foolish Immortals xvii. It was vital to him to get the reins back into his own hands again. He remembered an old adage: ‘If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em.’

1979 D. LESSING Shikasta 266 I said, Running things, what’s the point? He said, If you can’t beat them, join them!

1996 Washington Times 2 July B8 Having taken it on the chin so convincingly, brokers have decided that, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

2002 Washington Times 26 Feb. A20 In fact, he began an attempt to win over the Catholic party to his side; the Teutonic version of ‘can’t lick ’em, join ’em.’


Proverbs new dictionary.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • if you can't beat 'em, join 'em — (also if you can t beat them, join them) INFORMAL ► said when you accept that you cannot be as successful as someone else without doing what they do: »If you can t beat them, join them. Beginning in February the domestic distributor will become… …   Financial and business terms

  • if you can't beat them, join them — see ↑beat, 1 • • • Main Entry: ↑join * * * if you can t beat them, ˈjoin them idiom (saying) if you cannot defeat sb or be as successful as they are, then it is more sensible to join them in what they are doing and perhaps get some advantage for… …   Useful english dictionary

  • If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! — If you can t beat em, (join em)! informal something that you say when you decide to do something bad because other people are getting an advantage from doing it and you cannot stop them.. If everyone else is making a bit of money out of it I will …   New idioms dictionary

  • if you can't beat them join them — if you are unable to defeat them then work with them …   English contemporary dictionary

  • if you can't beat 'em join 'em — if you are unable to defeat them then work with them …   English contemporary dictionary

  • If you can't beat 'em! — If you can t beat em, (join em)! informal something that you say when you decide to do something bad because other people are getting an advantage from doing it and you cannot stop them.. If everyone else is making a bit of money out of it I will …   New idioms dictionary

  • So You Think You Can Dance (season 3) finalists — Contents 1 Jimmy Arguello 2 Kameron Bink 3 Cedric Gardner 4 Anya Garnis 5 Jaimie Goodwin …   Wikipedia

  • join — (v.) c.1300, from stem of O.Fr. joindre join, connect, unite; have sexual intercourse with (12c.), from L. iungere to join together, unite, yoke, from PIE *yeug to join, unite (see JUGULAR (Cf. jugular)). Related: Joined; joining. In Middle… …   Etymology dictionary

  • beat — beat1 W2S2 [bi:t] v past tense beat past participle beaten [ˈbi:tn] ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(competition/election)¦ 2¦(hit)¦ 3¦(hit against)¦ 4¦(do better)¦ 5¦(be better)¦ 6¦(food)¦ 7¦(control/deal with)¦ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • beat — [[t]bi͟ːt[/t]] ♦ beats, beating, beaten (The form beat is used in the present tense and is the past tense.) 1) VERB If you beat someone or something, you hit them very hard. [V n] My wife tried to stop them and they beat her... [V n to n] They… …   English dictionary

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