Am I failing to get a point here?
Collins English Dictionary:
as often as not: quite frequently
as likely as not: very probably
Considering the meanings of these phrases, to my eye, they come to have connotations not in line with their real meanings.
Before consulting my dictionary I envisaged that as often as not would most probably mean just about never rather than quite frequently, and that as likely as not would be associated more with impossibility than with high probability.In short, I expected not, in the phrases above, to have the same implication as nothing does in, for example, as good as nothing.
Do you think not in these phrases is of some connotation different from what its commonplace definitions convey? Do you ever believe the component words preserve their meanings after these phrases are broken down and thus, are we supposed to treat the phrases the way idioms are treated?
I found one answer, but with no reference so far.