I'm looking for a phrase that means the same thing as "best of both worlds", except isn't so overused.

I'm looking for the semantics to remain intact; for example, "Awesome!!" would not be an acceptable substitute. I'm describing a thing, which I claim will solve two discrete problems. I'd like to be able to say something like "Not only does this solve X, but it also solves Y. It truly is the best of both worlds"

  • Unless X and Y are two long-standing problems where attempts to solve one would normally make the other one worse, I don't think OP's usage would apply anyway. His solution may be Adaptable, Resourceful, All-round, All-purpose, Many- sided, Multi-purpose, Multifaceted, Flexible, for example, but it probably doesn't combine the best features of two things that are normally thought of as incompatible. Oct 1, 2011 at 3:20
  • 1
    I'd go with double whammy. But then, I'm not in the business of selling anything to anyone.
    – user13141
    Oct 1, 2011 at 15:38

5 Answers 5


An obvious one which occurs to me is a win-win game or win-win situation, both of which indicate a non-zero-sum game. The term non-zero-sum game can apply to situations where both sides win or both sides lose, but is typically taken to be positive. For instance:

"I'm not paying you unless you deliver on time."
"You know, with your help, we could deliver on time and make it even better too. It's not a zero-sum game."

To kill two birds with one stone is to solve two problems at once.

You might also consider saying that the solution does both things in one fell swoop (at one time or with one action), though this is not limited to accomplishing only two things.

Keep in mind that to be the best of both worlds typically connotes not necessarily solving two problems, but combining two things that normally don't go together. Consider examples like, "it's the best of both worlds because we have the feel of a small college but the resources of a large university". In such cases, it's often a stretch to imagine how something can really have both of these benefits (is it truly a floor wax and a dessert topping?) which probably contributes to your feeling that the idiom is cliché.

If your desire is to avoid the overused, you might choose a simple variant of your original language, perhaps emphasizing that both problems are solved at once: Not only does this solve X, but it simultaneously solves Y.


One can also have their cake and eat it too.

  • 2
    Actually, one can't have their cake. One can only have one's cake!
    – ect
    Oct 2, 2011 at 2:18
  • But what if one wants one's cake and theirs too?
    – Andrew Vit
    Oct 2, 2011 at 2:42
  • This is actually a corrupted version of "eat your cake and have it too" (because you can't usually have cake once you've eaten it, of course. You can, though, eat cake once you have it :)
    – Esther
    Aug 22, 2022 at 21:55

The term two-for-one (also twofer) can apply here. I don't think of it as a synonym for the phrase best of both worlds, but it does work perfectly to illustrate a thing that solves two discrete problems.

  1. a cheap item of merchandise; especially: a cigar selling at two for a nickel
  2. a free coupon entitling the bearer to purchase two tickets to a specified theatrical production for the price of one
  3. two articles available for the price of one or about the price of one
  4. something that satisfies two criteria or needs simultaneously

A "double play" (a term from baseball).

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