throw out the baby with the bathwater

throw out the baby with the bathwater

To discard something valuable or important while disposing of something considered worthless, especially an outdated idea or form of behavior. The phrase is often used in the negative as a warning against such thoughtless behavior. Why are we scrapping the entire project? Come on, don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. The main reforms of the movement were desperately needed, but I'm afraid we threw out the baby with the bathwater in many cases.
See also: baby, bathwater, out, throw

throw out the baby with the bath water

Discard something valuable along with something not wanted. For example, I know you don't approve of that one item in the bill but we shouldn't throw out the baby with the bath water by voting the bill down . This expression, with its vivid image of a baby being tossed out with a stream of dirty water, is probably translated from a German proverb, Das Kind mit dem Bade ausschütten ("Pour the baby out with the bath"). It was first recorded in English in 1853 by Thomas Carlyle, who translated many works from German.
See also: baby, bath, out, throw, water
References in periodicals archive ?
Yet we must not throw out the baby with the bathwater.
The water would get MURKIER with each washing and mother would, of course, have to taKe care not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Too often people are quick to throw out the baby with the bathwater when it comes to relationship strife.
So - we would not throw out the baby with the bathwater by abolishing RDAs but we would urge MPs to cut out the red tape that blights delivering services.
It may be that certain brands ought to cut down the amount of fluoride in their tea or add a warning label to their product," says Michael Kleerekoper, director of research for bone and mineral metabolism at Wayne State University, "but it would be a real mistake to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Abraham, who already has an illegitimate son, wants to make sure he doesn't throw out the baby with the bathwater here (that, or he's making a little moral wiggle room for himself).