(one) can't win

(redirected from she couldn't win)

(one) can't win

1. One is unable to find or create any success; one has been constantly and/or thoroughly defeated, bested, belittled, etc., in recent times. So Mary divorced John after their company went under, and then his mother died a week later? Man, that guy can't win lately. That's the third manuscript to be rejected by the publishers; I guess I just can't win.
2. One cannot please someone or everyone. The kids aren't happy if they don't have the same fancy gadgets as their friends, and Mary's not happy if I buy the things for them—I can't win! First he criticizes me for spending too much time at home, then he criticizes me for being away too often with my friends. I just can't win with him.
See also: win

you can't win

Also, you just can't win. Whatever one does is wrong or not enough, as in Every time I block one of the woodchuck's holes, I find another; you just can't win. [First half of 1900s] For a synonym, see damned if I do, damned if I don't.
See also: win

I, you, etc. ˌcan’t ˈwin

(spoken) whatever you do, you cannot succeed completely or please everyone: If I spend time with Phil, Jane’s unhappy. If I spend time with her, he’s jealous. I just can’t win. ▶ ˌno-ˈwin adj. (of a situation, policy, etc.) that will end badly whatever you decide to do: They’re in a no-win situation at the moment. Whatever they do, someone criticizes them.
See also: win
References in periodicals archive ?
Two years ago she couldn't win the World Hurdle and I don't think she's going to win the Champion Hurdle now.
Her public image was so fixed that she couldn't win if she had - suddenly shown a softer side, people would not have believed it.
She never stepped in to adjudicate these disputes, and so her campaign drifted until suddenly everyone realized she couldn't win.
Peinemma Tim Doyle 2nd, 2m bumper, Thurles, January 6 This mare has shown a good bit of promise in two of her three bumpers and it would be disappointing if she couldn't win at least an ordinary mares' bumper.
Vekic won five matches to reach yesterday's final and although she couldn't win the first title of her fledgling career, the London-based teen says she'll return in 2014.
Hopefully she can really kick on and there is no reason why she couldn't win another three or four slams," he said.
At the last Beijing Olympics, she could not make the final - this time too she couldn't win, but, the fact that she could reach semi-finals in both the events as also winning many awards in other events, would qualify her to be called by Sonia or even for the Presidential hug as a cheering gesture, if not anything else.
Dolores had given the ticket to someone else to check, saying she couldn't win anything - not even an argument
She couldn't be bothered herself because she told everyone that she couldn't win anything - not even an argument
She gave the ticket to a friend to check, telling her she couldn't win anything - not even an argument.
Our favorite room in the whole house was the one where the saints were because it was a spacious dark room full of knick-knacks and a strong smell of camphor at times thymol but it never bored us because searching with our eyes glued to the dirt floor we found old coins and change of different kinds and with a green rusted crust that had to be rubbed hard afterward with ashes and the sole of the shoe so the number would appear and the little yellow design or else the white one though we could also guess and Rosita always said yellow but it came out white because without her knowing it I was squeezing hard on the Saint Linus figure I carried in my pocket and so she couldn't win however much she knew the blessed mother and queen.
The fact she couldn't win a handicap off 60 doesn't augur too well.
Margaret Thatcher leaving No 10, Downing Street, for the last time in 1990 after being persuaded by colleagues that she couldn't win the Conservative leadership election
She ran into a better-handicapped mare in Sherika at Gowran and was outpaced from the final flight before sticking to her task well, but it would be disappointing if she couldn't win a handicap hurdle off this sort of mark.