throw the baby out with the bathwater

throw the baby out 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To discard something valuable or important while disposing of something considered worthless, especially an outdated idea or form of behavior.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 the baby out with the bathwater. The main reforms of the movement were desperately needed, but I'm afraid we threw the baby out with the bathwater in many cases.
See also: baby, bathwater, out, throw

throw the baby out with the bath water

If someone throws the baby out with the bath water, they reject an idea completely, even though some parts of it are good. Even if we don't necessarily like the whole scheme, we're not going to throw the baby out with the bath water. In rejecting traditional values, they have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
See also: baby, bath, out, throw, water

throw the baby out with the bathwater

discard something valuable along with other things that are inessential or undesirable.
This phrase is based on a German saying recorded from the early 16th century but not introduced into English until the mid 19th century, by Thomas Carlyle . He identified it as German and gave it in the form, ‘You must empty out the bathing-tub, but not the baby along with it.’
1998 New Scientist It is easy to throw out the baby with the bathwater when it comes to UFO books—there are some seriously bad titles out there.
See also: baby, bathwater, out, throw

throw the ˌbaby out with the ˈbathwater

(informal) lose something that you want at the same time as you are trying to get rid of something that you do not want: It’s stupid to say that the old system of management was all bad; there were some good things about it. The baby was thrown out with the bathwater.
See also: baby, bathwater, out, throw

throw the baby out with the bath water

Slang
To discard something valuable along with something not desired, usually unintentionally.
See also: baby, bath, out, throw, water
References in periodicals archive ?
IF YOU are in business--and you definitely are if you are reading this--you have likely heard or used this phrase before: "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
We've still got the biggest financial services sector in the world - slightly bigger than Wall Street - and miles ahead of anyone else - and we don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
But] those burned during the crisis should not immediately throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to their second chance at homeownership," he noted.
How to love something more than myself; How to be patient; And how not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Our relationships run deep and we're intelligent enough not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, which has been tempting at times.
There is a danger that, in our desire to build to ease demand, we throw the baby out with the bathwater by destroying the very parts of our city that make people want to live here in the first place.
The genie is out of the bottle, and has grown a long beard, Mr Forbes, and you can either deal with it, sensibly, in a manner that does not throw the baby out with the bathwater, or leave it well alone, for fear of turning this great city, currently awash with brand name pubs and eateries frequented by the ordinary people of this region merely seeking a well deserved night out, into a ghost town.
But we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
BBC BOSSES must not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
While the article is very good and also correct, we must not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater and go back to the old days where we didn't have the information.
Sometimes you can throw the baby out with the bathwater.
But pregnant women shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
While I appreciate Goldstein's call to action, I would ask that he not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
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