Pick and Choose

Meaning of Idiom

Pick and Choose: to carefully select or choose the best, most desirable, or appropriate option from among a number of options; to be choosy when making a decision about alternatives.  1Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,3Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.

Examples Of Use

“When you’re looking for an apartment to rent in New York, you can’t afford to pick and choose.”

“I like shopping online because I can take my time and pick and choose what I want.”

“A good chef knows how to pick and choose the best ingredients.”

“I like to order my groceries to be delivered, but I insist on picking and choosing my own produce.”

“I don’t like that new bakery. They won’t let you pick and choose!”

“You don’t always get to pick and choose. Sometimes you have to take what you’re given.”

“He’s used to picking and choosing from among the brightest new candidates. You will have to really impress him to get him to notice you!”

Origin

Pick and choose are synonyms and thus are a redundant dyad in this idiom. Idioms which rely on redundancy tend to survive for very long periods of time. This one has been in use since the 1400’s. 4Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.
2. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
3. Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.
4. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.