I've recently seen "I could take it or leave it" as a way of saying "it's not that important to me." For example,

Q: "I love the taste of pumpkin pie. How do you feel about it?"
A: "I could take it or leave it."

But I'm much more accustomed to hearing "take it or leave it" used in the form of an ultimatum, especially in a negotiation setting -

Buyer: "How much for the shoes?"
Seller: "$100."
Buyer: "Will you take $50 for them?"
Seller: "I'd rather not go below $75."
Buyer: "I'll give you $60. Take it or leave it."

You know when you can't remember the name of that one guy in that movie, but you know that you know it? In the same way, I'm certain there's another (more correct) colloquial phrase to convey indifference without saying "I could take it or leave it" (and I've heard it before), but I can't remember what that is. Can anyone help me out?

It really just seems like "take it or leave it" has been improperly co-opted as a means to express indifference.

EDIT: After all of your inputs, I think I've remembered the statement I've been looking for.

"I could survive without it."

This may express more of a negative opinion of the thing in question than a neutral opinion, but it's definitely the phrase I have been seeking. Thanks all for your help.

  • It sounds like you're asking us to guess the phrase you can't remember—something that doesn't work well here. I can think of other possibilities: (1) I'm not bothered either way. (2) It's of no consequence. (3) I'm ambivalent. (4) I've never thought about it. (5) It doesn't do anything for me. Jun 19, 2019 at 19:04
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    I think part of the issue is the phrase for indifference is the entirety of "I could take it or leave it". Saying just "take it or leave it" IS a bargaining phrase.
    – BenL
    Jun 19, 2019 at 20:14
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    What do I care?
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 19, 2019 at 21:22
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    "whatever" or just a shrug of the shoulders. Jun 19, 2019 at 23:00
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    The expression "take it or leave it" means "You can either take it or leave it, there are no other options". The expression "I can take it or leave it" means "I can take it or leave it, I have no preference". Neither of them is a co-option of the other, they are different expressions.
    – BoldBen
    Jun 20, 2019 at 19:44

2 Answers 2


The runaway winner for modern conversational English is "meh" https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/meh

After that, any synonym of "apathetic" will do.


I could go either way.

Either way is fine with me.

Either way is fine by me.

Either way is fine.

I'm fine with either one.

The key to all of these is either:

(Oxford) either way: Whichever of two given alternatives is the case.

‘they may leave or they may accept the change, but either way, it'll take some work on your end’

The above are all traditional and respectful and never go out of style.

Whatever is a modern option but could be taken as disrespectful. I don't recommend you use it for this meaning.

Update based on a better understanding of the question:

Q: "I love pumpkin pie. How about you?"

A: "It's okay."

Here are a few other possibilities:

  • I don't have an opinion [about it] [one way or the other].

  • It's not one of my favorites.

  • It's okay once a year at Thanksgiving.

  • There are worse desserts.

  • I'll eat anything I didn't have to cook myself.

  • I'm open to try anything.

  • It's okay, as pies go.

  • I don't have any strong feelings about it one way or the other.

  • It's an option.

  • I appreciate the information, although it does not exactly address the original question. The phrase I'm seeking is not in response to a choice between two alternatives. It would usually be given in response to a question of "Do you like ______?" or "How do you feel about ______?"
    – Mark C
    Jun 20, 2019 at 14:40
  • @MarkC - Thanks for clarifying. I've edited my answer. Jun 20, 2019 at 21:42

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