if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
Principally known in North America; the British equivalent is let well alone.

1977 Nation’s Business May 27 Bert Lance [President Carter’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget] believes he can save Uncle Sam billions if he can get the government to adopt a single motto: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

1984 R. WILDER You All Spoken Here 25 If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: Don’t mess with a clock that runs on time.

1988 Washington Post 5 Dec. C11 The sleep pattern you have worked out is normal for you, and since you have been fairly successful in planning your life around it, why change? ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

2001 Times Literary Supplement 30 Nov. 14 A healthy libertarianism rubs shoulders with the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ style of conservatism.


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  • if it ain't broke, don't fix it — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it informal phrase used for saying that you think that something is already good or effective and should not be changed Thesaurus: ways of emphasizing how good something issynonym Main entry: broke * * * if it ain t… …   Useful english dictionary

  • if it ain't broke don't fix it —    This expression means that if a system or method works well, you shouldn t change it.     We re not touching our alarm system. As the saying goes : if it ain t broke, don t fix it! …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • If it ain't broke, don't fix it. — something that you say which means if a system or method works well there is no reason to change it. We re happy with our exam system in Scotland, and as they say, if it ain t broke, don t fix it …   New idioms dictionary

  • if it ain't broke, don't fix it — it is a mistake to try to improve something that works. He hasn t made a lot of changes to the team since taking over as head coach, figuring if it ain t broke, don t fix it …   New idioms dictionary

  • if it ain't broke, don't fix it — Any attempt to improve on a system that already works is pointless and may even hurt it …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • if it ain't broke, don't fix it —    Any attempt to improve on a system that already works is pointless and may even hurt it.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • if it ain't broke, don't fix it — informal used for saying that you think that something is already good or effective and should not be changed …   English dictionary

  • ain't — Etymology: contraction of are not Date: 1749 1. am not ; are not ; is not 2. have not ; has not 3. do not ; does not ; did not used in some varieties of Black English Usage …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • broke — broke1 [ brouk ] adjective be broke INFORMAL to have no money: Can you lend me $5? I m completely broke. go broke INFORMAL to no longer have any money and be unable to pay what you owe. Go bankrupt is a less informal expression: The company went… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • broke — I UK [brəʊk] / US [broʊk] adjective be broke go broke go for broke if it ain t broke, don t fix it II UK [brəʊk] / US [broʊk] the past tense of break I …   English dictionary

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