you can't win 'em all


Also found in: Wikipedia.

(you) can't win them all

A phrase said, often as an attempt at consolation, when one has lost or failed to achieve a desired result, especially after previous success. "Them" is sometimes abbreviated as "'em." I know you're disappointed to have the lost the game, but you can't win them all, honey. A: "I'm sorry, I know you worked really hard and were expecting an A+." B: "Eh, can't win 'em all."
See also: all, win

you can't win 'em all

Success is not inevitable, as in They published your article but not your rebuttal to the reviewer? Well, you can't win 'em all . [First half of 1900s] For a synonym, see win some, lose some.
See also: all, win

you can't win 'em all

It’s impossible to succeed in every undertaking. This twentieth-century Americanism slightly antedates the synonym win some, lose some, having originated about 1940. Also a philosophic view of losing, it appears in Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye (1954): “Take it easy, Doc. You can’t win ’em all.” In contrast, the shorter you can’t win is generally spoken out of frustration with defeat and originated somewhat earlier, probably about 1910.
See also: all, win
References in periodicals archive ?
Henry, I am eternally grateful, was none of these (except a lacrosse player but you can't win 'em all).
I guess as the old saying goes: You can't win 'em all!"
And family has been steadfast when projects go south, reminding the couple, "You can't win 'em all," Tarek says.
YOU can't win 'em all, as the saying goes, but at the University of Huddersfield we give it our best shot, and our success rate in the growing number of awards now available in the Higher Education sector is highly impressive.
Yes, it's been nerve-wracking, and, yes, there have been setbacks along the way - Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday home and away; Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Watford away, spring to mind - but that's football, you can't win 'em all.
WORCESTER -- You can't win 'em all, which is why you should never get into a situation where you have to.
RUSSELL SLADE saw Leyton Orient's 100 per cent record come to an end and declared: "You can't win 'em all!"
But you can't win 'em all and it's all over in 90 minutes.
* You can't win 'em all. If you honestly feel you have bent over backwards for these folks, and they are still unhappy, it's time to have them move on.
I would have liked the option of a cheese and biscuit selection but you can't win 'em all.
You can't win 'em all. Instead of writing that disgruntled e-mail, why not check out the Best of ...
Also in 1969, he starred in Rene Clement's thriller "Rider on the Rain." Bronson also worked on such European productions as "You Can't Win 'Em All," "Chato's Land" and "Red Sun." In 1972 he starred in the gangster movie "The Valachi Papers," based on Peter Maas' book.
"I never like losing a sale," this owner says, "but I realize you can't win 'em all. What I can't stand is the thought of having lost a sale as a result of one of my people alienating a customer."
The old saying, "You can't win 'em all," is unfortunately true.
Idioms browser ?
Full browser ?