Why do we say "Half a loaf is better than none"?

Well-Known Expressions

Half a loaf is better than none

Meaning:

It's better to have something, rather than nothing at all.

Background:

This expression is first recorded in John Heywood's 1546 book of proverbs.

John Heywood was a 16th century English dramatist employed at the courts of first Henry VIII and then Queen Mary, as a singer, musician and playwright. When the Protestant Elizabeth I succeeded to the throne in 1564, Heywood (a Roman Catholic) fled to Belgium where he stayed for the rest of his life. He is considered important to the development of English comedy and is also remembered for his epigrams, proverbs and ballads.

Alphabetical list of expressions

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