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Difference between Give someone a break and Give someone an even break

give someone a break—(coll.) give smb. a chance or special consideration:

  • Roush gave him a break two decades ago when he gave a kid from Batesville a chance to achieve his dreams.


a) The expression does not fully correlate in meaning with the phrase give me a break

1. (sl.) stop trying to fool or bother me:

  • Oh, give me a break. You spent an entire night together and you don’t remember her name?

2. (coll.) give me a chance or an opportunity:

  • I worked on Music Row for two years, and nobody would give me a break, and I could not save up the money to make a record.

b) The expression does not correlate in meaning with the phrase take a break—have a rest; take time off from an activity:

  • There was that cold January morning when I took a break from washing the dishes.

give someone an even break—(coll.) give smb. an equal or fair chance; give a person the same opportunity as other people:

  • Women have been subject to second class status for centuries and it is time to give them an even break.

Cf.: never give a sucker an even break—(cliché) one should not allow a fair chance to smb. who may be easily deceived:

  • Doesn’t capitalism teach that one never gives a sucker an even break? It damn sure does.