throw out the baby with the bathwater

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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To discard something valuable or important while disposing of something considered worthless, especially an outdated idea or form of behavior.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.
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 ?
TALK about throwing out the baby with the bath water.
What worries me about these heavy-handed intrusions into employees' personal lives is the possibility that corporations may be throwing out the baby with the bath water.
As for the financial markets, he be-lieves it's no coincidence that in July the markets were hit hard when, re-plete with scandals, Washington introduced legislation that he referred to as a "case of throwing out the baby with the bath water.
To close would be akin to throwing out the baby with the bath water and I think the law should be flexible in cases like the Neptune.
Instead of throwing out the baby with the bath water, we need to minimize the risks of genetic engineering and maximize the benefits, both in this country and abroad.
In Furtive Fauna: A Field Guide to the Creatures Who Live on You (Ten Speed Press, 510-599-1600) Roger Knutson points out, "The only way to eliminate ticks for certain would be to get rid of the outdoors, which makes throwing out the baby with the bath water seem sensible by comparison.
Leveling the playing field will not only invite more challengers, but provide less risk of throwing out the baby with the bath water.