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Why do we say "Take it or leave it.

Well-Known Expressions

Take it or leave it

Meaning:

This is my best offer, accept it or the deal is off.

Background:

Apparently, this expression has been traced back as far as 1576. "Take or leave it" can also be expressed as "a Hobson's choice" - an expression which is said to have originated with Thomas Hobson (1544–1631), a livery stable owner in Cambridge, England, who would offer customers the horse in the stall nearest the door, or none at all. The strategy clearly seems to have worked for Hobson, as he was rich enough to commission a portrait of himself - which hangs in the Guildhall in Cambridge.

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