• Idiom – Better the devil you know 
  • This idiom is a shortened version of the expression Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.
  • Meaning – Something bad and familiar is better than something bad and unknown. It is better or wiser to deal with someone you already know than to deal with someone you don’t (who might be even worse).
  • This idiom suggests that the person you already know has probably upset or disappointed you in some way in the past.

When could you use this idiom?

  • When choosing a person to provide a service for you.
  • Discussing which person should do a job for you.
  • Discussing your colleagues or employees.
  • Deciding if you should find a new job or stay in your current position.
  • Deciding which takeaway to order food from.
Example 1:
  • Daniel: “Who are you going to ask to design your new menu?”

  • Jessica: “I guess I’ll ask Dave again. His design wasn’t perfect last time but it’s better the devil you know.”

Example 2:
  • Peter: Shall we find a new mechanic to fix our car?
  • Ryan: No, let’s use the same mechanic as last time. It’s better the devil you know. I’d rather use the old mechanic again because there are so many dishonest mechanics in this town!
  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?
What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.