often


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as often as not

Frequently; more than half the time. The phrase is not always preceded by the adverb "as." As often as not, I end up disliking coming back to my hometown for a visit. I'll have a drink with dinner often as not.
See also: not, often

bad workers always blame their tools

If someone performs a job or task poorly or unsuccessfully, they will usually lay the blame on the quality of their equipment, or other such external factors, rather than take responsibility for their own failure. The football player blamed the overinflated ball for costing his team the game, but as they say, bad workers always blame their tools.
See also: always, bad, blame, tool, worker

(as) often as not

In most instances; usually; at least, if not more than, half the time. As often as not, Jamie's and David's debates end up turning into petty arguments. I find these introductory college courses to be, often as not, a rather boring waste of one's time.
See also: not, often

the pitcher will go to the well once too often

A period of good luck will eventually end. I know that being on a winning streak is very exciting, but just remember that the pitcher will go to the well once too often. I'm sure he will continue to break the law until he gets caught. The pitcher will go to the well once too often.
See also: often, once, pitcher, well, will

every so often

Sometimes; occasionally. Josh does stop by the store every so often, but I haven't seen him lately. I don't eat a lot of sweets, but every so often I just need a piece of chocolate cake.
See also: every, often

Half the truth is often a whole lie.

Prov. If you do not tell the whole truth, you can mislead people just as if you tell them an outright lie. Jill: You lied to me. Jane: I did not. Everything I said was true. Jill: But you didn't tell me the whole story. And half the truth is often a whole lie.
See also: half, lie, often, truth, whole

Little and often fills the purse.

Prov. If you get a little bit of money frequently, you will always have enough. Jill: I don't think I'll ever be able to save very much; I can only afford to save such a little bit of money from every paycheck. Jane: Ah, but little and often fills the purse.
See also: and, fill, little, often, purse

more often than not

Fig. usually. These flowers will live through the winter more often than not. This kind of dog will grow up to be a good watchdog more often than not.
See also: more, not, often

every now and then

Also, every now and again; every once in a while; every so often. Occasionally, from time to time; also, periodically. For example, Every now and then I long for a piece of chocolate, or We take long walks every now and again, or Every once in a while he'll call, or Every so often she washes the car. The first term dates from the first half of the 1700s, the last from the mid-1900s. Also see from time to time; once in a while.
See also: and, every, now

more often than not

Also, often as not. Fairly frequently, more than or at least half the time, as in More often than not we'll have dinner in the den, or Dean and Chris agree on travel plans, often as not. [First half of 1900s]
See also: more, not, often

often as not

See also: not, often

more .../more often than somebody has had hot ˈdinners

(informal, often humorous) used for emphasizing how much/many or how often somebody has done something: He’s won more medals than you’ve had hot dinners.She’s been to France more often than you’ve had hot dinners.
See also: dinner, hot, more, often, somebody

ˌevery so ˈoften

occasionally: I usually drink tea, but every so often I have coffee after dinner.
See also: every, often

(as) ˌoften as ˈnot

,

more ˌoften than ˈnot

frequently; usually: As often as not I watch TV after dinner.
See also: not, often

ˌonce too ˈoften

used to say that somebody has done something wrong or stupid again, and this time they will suffer because of it: You’ve tried that trick once too often.
See also: often, once

every so often

At intervals; occasionally.
See also: every, often
References in classic literature ?
They had taken advantage of the calamity that happened the year of our arrival: and the Abyssins, with all their wit, did not consider that they had often been distressed by the grasshoppers before there came any Jesuits into the country, and indeed before there were any in the world.
A council to a magistrate, who is himself responsible for what he does, are generally nothing better than a clog upon his good intentions, are often the instruments and accomplices of his bad and are almost always a cloak to his faults.
The beaver, when entrapped, often gets fastened by the chain to sunken logs or floating timber; if he gets to shore, he is entangled in the thickets of brook willows.
I feel as if it were right to ask her as often as I can if she doesn't consider every one equal; but she always says she doesn't, and she confesses that she doesn't think she is equal to "Lady Something-or-other," who is the wife of that relation of her father.
I am no novel-reader -- I seldom look into novels -- Do not imagine that I often read novels -- It is really very well for a novel.
Our new home was in the midst of a cluster of cabins crowded closely together, and as there were no sanitary regulations, the filth about the cabins was often intolerable.
My good priest sat beside me in these rich moments, knotting in his lap the calico handkerchief of the snuff-taker, and entering with tremulous eagerness into my joy in things that he had often before enjoyed.
The answer is Fairy me lukka, but though he had often told me this I again forgot the lukka.
When sent to the forest Tip often climbed trees for birds' eggs or amused himself chasing the fleet white rabbits or fishing in the brooks with bent pins.
Rose often longed to be back in the old house with the simpler pleasures and more useful duties of the life there; but, having made up her mind, in spite of Phebe, that "girls were made to take care of boys," here motherly little soul found much to enjoy in the new task she had undertaken.
Our oldest cultivated plants, such as wheat, still often yield new varieties: our oldest domesticated animals are still capable of rapid improvement or modification.
Their text, again, is often interrupted by the insertion of brief phrases explanatory of unusual words.
This loss, however great, he bore like a man of sense and constancy, though it must be confest he would often talk a little whimsically on this head; for he sometimes said he looked on himself as still married, and considered his wife as only gone a little before him, a journey which he should most certainly, sooner or later, take after her; and that he had not the least doubt of meeting her again in a place where he should never part with her more--sentiments for which his sense was arraigned by one part of his neighbours, his religion by a second, and his sincerity by a third.
How often she had mused on the subject, thinking of her friend abroad, Varenka, of her painful state of dependence, how often she had wondered about herself what would become of her if she did not marry, and how often she had argued with her sister about it
The young man and his companion often went apart and appeared to weep.