throw the baby out with the bathwater

throw the baby out with the bathwater

Meaning

  • to remove something good in the bid of getting rid of something bad
  • getting rid of something valuable while trying to get rid of something considered worthless

Example Sentences

  1. Janet quitting her job because her ex started working there is a classic example of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
  2. People who leave old friends because of minor issues are throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
  3. Amanda’s habit of making hasty decisions makes her commit the error of throwing out the baby with the bathwater most of the time.
  4. Just because you don’t get what you want from people does not mean you should end communication with them and therefore throw out the baby with the bathwater.
  5. I regret cutting off my siblings after the quarrel with my parents because that means I threw out the baby with the bathwater.

Origin

This phrase originated from a practice in the medieval times when there was scarcity of water. Due to water not being available, family members usually bathed using one tub of water and the father took a bath first. By the time the baby is bathed, the water is so dark and filthy that the baby might be thrown out with it when the tub is being emptied.

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