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what you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabouts

The losses, setbacks, or negative aspects of a certain situation are offset or balanced by equally advantageous or positive elements, or vice versa. (The formation of the phrase can also be reversed.) Primarily heard in UK. This promotion has meant I can provide for my family much more easily, but it's so demanding that I don't see them all that much—what you gain on the swings, you lose on the roundabouts. People here complain about the high level of taxes, but what you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabouts—if I were to go into the hospital tomorrow for a major operation, I wouldn't pay a thing.
See also: gain, lose, on, roundabout, what

swings and roundabouts

A situation in which certain gains, advantages, or other positive aspects or outcomes are offset or balanced by equally disadvantageous losses, setbacks, or negative outcomes (or vice versa). Primarily heard in UK. This promotion has meant I can provide for my family much more easily, but it's so demanding that I don't see them all that much—it's swings and roundabouts, really. The government needs to be wary of the swings and roundabouts of a slight surplus in the budget, because many problems can follow on the heels of unfettered increases in spending.
See also: and, roundabout, swing

it's swings and roundabouts

The losses, setbacks, or negative aspects of a certain situation are cancelled out or balanced by equally advantageous or positive elements (or vice versa). Primarily heard in UK. This promotion has meant I can provide for my family much more easily, but it's so demanding that I don't see them all that much—it's swings and roundabouts, really. People here complain about the high level of taxes, but it's all just swings and roundabouts, because if I were to go into hospital tomorrow for a major operation, I wouldn't pay a thing.
See also: and, roundabout, swing

say something in a roundabout way

to imply something without saying it; to say something indirectly; to speak using circumlocution. Why don't you say what you mean? Why do you always say something in a roundabout way? What did she mean? Why did she say it in a roundabout way?
See also: roundabout, say, way

swings and roundabouts

BRITISH
If you say that a situation is swings and roundabouts, you mean that there are as many advantages as there are disadvantages in it. There are good and bad points to both approaches — it's swings and roundabouts. You pay less for a property that's out of town but then, you pay more for petrol when you're travelling to work and back. Note: This expression comes from the proverb what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts. People sometimes use the full form of the proverb, or a variation of it. The United States will gain far more on the swings than it loses on the roundabouts.
See also: and, roundabout, swing

swings and roundabouts

a situation in which different actions or options result in no eventual gain or loss. British
This expression comes from the proverbial saying you lose on the swings what you gain on the roundabouts .
1983 Penelope Lively Perfect Happiness I have always reckoned on a fair share of that— swings and roundabouts, rough with smooth.
See also: and, roundabout, swing

ˌswings and ˈroundabouts

(British English, informal) used when you want to say that gaining one thing usually means losing another thing: Higher earnings mean more tax, so it’s all swings and roundabouts.What you gain on the swings you’ll probably lose on the roundabouts.
Swings and roundabouts are both types of equipment found at a fairground.
See also: and, roundabout, swing
References in periodicals archive ?
As part of the junction improvement works and traffic system management of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode's administration designed to enhance free flow of traffic, the state government had commissioned the removal of the roundabouts with the view to freeing up more space for traffic.
I came up behind a large furniture van and on seeing the traffic on the A55 decided to turn around, drive along Glanyrafon road to the A55 to enter the west bound carriageway without difficulty, in order to enter the eastbound carriageway at the roundabout to complete my journey.
On the website of Road Safety UAE, it explained that there is a need for motorists need to carry out driving etiquette at roundabouts.
Compared to countries such as France or the United Kingdom, on the basis of roundabouts to population rate, the United States is still lagging.
The biggest safety factors come down to two circumstances: Roundabouts force vehicles to slow down to enter the circle, and once in the circle, cars are driving in the same direction so there are far fewer broadside- or head-on collisions.
We would be relaxing on holiday in Spain and I would say 'Right, I'm off to take some photos of Spanish roundabouts.
Vehicles passing through the Civil Defence intersection, which has replaced the old roundabout.
Newcastle City Council needs to get up to speed in its thinking and cancel the Blue House roundabout monstrosity.
In fact, the reason these two roundabouts have to go is that they are not only too small for complicated topiary or Second World War aircraft - they are also too small for the traffic they have to carry.
Paul Watters, head of road policy at the AA, said most accidents involving roundabouts occur in those locations coming off motorways or A-roads, where drivers are travelling fast.
Neil Greig, of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: "Most crashes at these major junctions happen within the roundabout, suggesting drivers often don't understand which lane they should use.
If that business was to make more than the PS90,000 from companies who want to sponsor the roundabouts in Middlesbrough over the period of the three year contract, then they would turn a profit.
The work will add an extra lane to the Chain Bar roundabout at junction 26 on the M62 where it meets the M606 for Bradford and will last for the best part of a year.
The Department of Public Works and Services in Ras Al Khaimah has started developing major roads and roundabouts of the emirate.