better the devil you know than the devil you don't (know)

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better the devil you know than the devil you don't (know)

proverb When faced with two options, it is better to choose the more familiar one, even if it is undesirable (as the unfamiliar choice could prove even worse in the end). A: "Why don't you just quit your job if you're so miserable?" B: "Who knows if a new job will be any better! Better the devil you know than the devil you don't." Most people just vote for the candidate from their political party because it's what they've done for most of their lives. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know, after all.
See also: better, devil, know
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know.

Prov. If you have to choose between a familiar but unpleasant situation and an unfamiliar situation, choose the familiar one because the unfamiliar situation may turn out to be worse. Jill: I hate my job so much that I'm thinking of asking for a transfer. Jane: I'd advise against it. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know. Although she was unhappy in her marriage, Donna never considered pursuing romances with other men. "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know," was her philosophy.
See also: better, devil, know
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.
It's often expressed in Britain with the old saw, "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know."
Words I was greeted with a while ago, and ones which evince the reply: "I am fine, thank you, but please excuse the fact that I have now exchanged my forked tail for a clerical collar, as I have stopped being the Devil to take up God's work!" That greeting made me think of the proverb, "Better the Devil you know than the Devil you don't."
It's not just a case of blood being thicker than water, or even of 'better the devil you know than the devil you don't.' It's often about Wanting to get the preferred successor(s) involved so they can begin to get a handle on the business, the desire to help out a family member who can't get employment elsewhere, or to avoid a family argument.
"We don't know where we are going and I think it's a case of better the devil you know than the devil you don't."
In closing, may I say that I love my country and for me it's better the devil you know than the devil you don't know.
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