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All's for the best in the best of all possible worlds an optimistic assessment of the general state of affairs, recorded from the early 20th century, which translates the French Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes possibles. This observation is regularly made, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, by the philosophical optimist Dr Pangloss, in Voltaire's Candide (1759).

best bib and tucker best clothes. Originally used of items of women's dress: a bib is a garment worn over the upper front part of the body (as in the bib of an apron), and a tucker was a piece of lace formerly used to adorn a woman's bodice.

the best club in London traditional name for the House of Commons.

the best is the enemy of the good a vision of the ideal may prevent good and acceptable work being actually achieved. The saying is also found in the form the good of Chancery, and is recorded from the mid 19th century.

the best-laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley the most carefully laid plans may go awry. Originally from Robert Burns's poem ‘To a Mouse’ (1786), and often used allusively in the shortened form ‘the best-laid schemes’.

the best of friends must part even the closest friendship is not proof against (temporary) separation; recorded from the early 17th century, and often used as consolation when parting. A similar idea is found earlier in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, ‘Alwey frendes may natr ben yfeere [may not be together].’

the best of men are but men at best even the most heroic or virtuous person is still subject to the usual human frailties. The saying is first attributed (in the 17th century, by John Aubrey) to the Parliamentarian commander John Lambert, who played an important role in Cromwell's military successes over the Royalists in the English Civil War.

the best things come in small packages often used as encouragement to a short or slight person. Recorded from the late 19th century, but a French saying of the 13th century runs, ‘small packages considered together are beautiful.’

the best things in life are free the things which most affect the true quality of life, such as love and friendship or the beauties of the natural world, are not commodities available for purchase. This saying is first recorded in the early 20th century as the title of a song, by Buddy De Sylva and Lew Brown.

it is best to be on the safe side it is always wise to take precautions; saying recorded from the mid 17th century.

See also east, west, home's best, first thoughts are best, hope for the best, he laughs best who laughs last, the best of both worlds.


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