Have it both ways

verb phrase

To hold or esp to profit from two contrary positions; work both sides of the street •Usu in the negative: Make up your mind which one you’ll support, because you can’t have it both ways (1914+)
Achieve two mutually exclusive objectives, as in Bill wants to have it both ways—to enjoy Christmas at home and to travel with his friends. The related have it all means “to get everything one wants,” as in It’s too bad we can’t have it all—the wisdom of experience and the fresh enthusiasm of youth. [ Early 1900s ]


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  • Have it going on

    verb phrase To be attractive; e chi and up-to-date: So you think you’ve got it going on, huh? (1990s+)

  • Have it good

    verb phrase To enjoy prosperity, health, regular meals, and pleasures, etc: I had it real good up there, till they canned me/ We never had it so good! (1940s+)

  • Have it in for someone

    verb phrase To be angry with; feel vindictive toward; bear a grudge: Hatfield had it in for McCoy (1849+)

  • Have it in one

    Have the ability to accomplish something. As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put it in A Study in Scarlet (1887), “I know well that I have it in me to make my name famous.”

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