easy come, easy go: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘easy come, easy go’ mean?

The idiom "easy come, easy go" means that something acquired quickly or easily is just as easily lost or taken away.

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The idiom "easy come, easy go" is an English expression that has been around for centuries. It conveys the idea that things acquired easily are just as easily lost or wasted. It originated in the 16th century and is still commonly used today.

The meaning of "easy come, easy go" is quite straightforward. It suggests that when something is obtained without much effort, it is also likely to be lost without much thought. This idiom often comments on the fleeting nature of success or wealth.

The origins of this idiom can be traced back to the concept of transitory fortune or luck. It was first recorded in print in 1562 in a book called "The Proverbs and Epigrams of John Heywood," but it was likely in use before then. The idiom has remained popular over the centuries and is used in both formal and informal communication.

Easy come, easy go.

Figuratively, "easy come, easy go" juxtaposes contrasting emotions. While acquiring something brings joy, losing it can cause disappointment or regret. This highlights the transitory nature of life's experiences and the unpredictability of fortune.

The idiom is applicable in various contexts. It can refer to the ease with which money or possessions are gained and lost, as well as the fickle nature of relationships. "Easy come, easy go" can also describe situations where opportunities are gained and then missed or wasted.

Another related idiom is "easy pickings." This expression refers to something that is effortlessly obtained or achieved. It can be used to describe situations where success or victory is easily attained without much effort. However, like "easy come, easy go," it also suggests that what is easily gained can be easily lost or wasted.

Similarly, the idiom "easy street" is related to "easy come, easy go." It refers to a situation where someone is enjoying a life of ease and comfort, usually due to financial success. However, like the other idioms, it implies that this easy life can be temporary and easily lost or squandered.

"easy come, easy go" is an idiom that has stood the test of time. Its simple yet meaningful message resonates with people from all walks of life. Whether reflecting on personal experiences or making broader societal commentary, this idiom serves as a reminder of the impermanence of material possessions and the importance of appreciating what we have while we have it.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom easy come, easy go can be used in a sentence:

  • He won the lottery, but quickly spent all the money. Easy come, easy go.
  • She borrowed money from her friend, but then wasted it on unnecessary shopping. It's easy come, easy go for her.
  • We had a big party last night, but now we have to clean up the mess. Easy come, easy go.

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