Pick of the Litter

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Meaning of Idiom 'Pick of the Litter'

When something (or someone) is the pick of the litter it is the best of a group. 1

Usage

"Isn't it a little early to go looking for yard sales?" asked Karen. "I like to get to them as early as possible so I can get the pick of the litter," said Tom.

"It's not exactly the pick of the litter," said the salesman. "but it's a reliable vehicle that fits your price range."

Pick of the litter idiom
Pick of the litter idiom

Origin

Used since the early 1900's, this idiom alludes to the best (most healthy, largest, etc.) newborn from a litter of puppies, kittens, piglets, etc. 1

Sources
1. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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