pick of the litter, the

pick of the litter

The best or most ideal option in a group. (A "litter" is a group of newborn mammals, especially puppies or kittens.) Matt is the pick of the litter, so we need to make sure he ends up on our team. I know you think that puppy is too small, but to me he's just the pick of the litter!
See also: litter, of, pick

pick of the litter

The best of a group, as in He was first in the ticket line so he had the pick of the litter. This term, alluding to the most desirable one from a litter of puppies or kittens, supplanted such earlier variants as pick of the market, pick of the parish, and pick of the basket. [Early 1900s]
See also: litter, of, pick

pick of the litter, the

The best of the lot. Versions of this term have been around in various forms for a long time—from the pick of the market and pick of the parish to the pick of the basket (all nineteenth century) and pick of the bunch (twentieth century). The cliché alludes to selecting the most desirable from a litter of puppies.
See also: of, pick