had rather

had rather

Also, had sooner. Would prefer. For example, I had rather you let me do the driving, or He'd sooner switch than fight. This idiom today is often replaced by would rather. [Late 1500s] Also see just as soon.
See also: rather
References in classic literature ?
He decided that he wasn't in real danger, that he had rather clinched his precautions.
Allen will put on his greatcoat when he goes, but I dare say he will not, for he had rather do anything in the world than walk out in a greatcoat; I wonder he should dislike it, it must be so comfortable.
I had rather, ten thousand times rather, get out now, and walk back to them.