What does sink or swim mean?


Idiom Meaning:

no choice but to fail or succeed


Examples of this Idiom in Movies & TV Shows:


Knight Rider 2000 (1991)

Time of Scene: 01:22:00

Michael Knight: It’s either sink or swim with you, huh, pal?

K.I.T.T.: I expect a full simonize once this is over.


Sicko  (2007)

Time of Scene: 01:55:00

Michael Moore: It was hard for me to acknowledge that in the end, we truly are all in the same boat. And that now matter what are differences, we sink or swim together. That’s how it seems to be everywhere else. They take care of each other, no matter what their disagreements. You know, when we see a good idea from another country, we grab it. If they build a better car, we drive it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. So if they’ve come up with a better way to treat the sick, to teach their kids, to take care of their babies, to simply be good to each other, then what’s our problem? Why can’t we do that?


The Twelve Chairs (1970)

Time of Scene: 01:04:00

Ostap Bender: Now listen, old man. Pride is a luxury that neither you nor I can afford at this time in our lives. We need 30 rubles to make our dreams come true. It’s sink or swim. I choose swim. Now, to beg or not to beg, that is the question. I will give you five to decide yes or no. On the count of five it is farewell. One.

Father Fyodor: Yes. Yes, yes, yes.


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Sink or Swim


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