heads I win, tails you lose

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danielxu85

Senior Member
Mandarin Chinese
What does it mean to say heads I win, tails you lose in this context? [...]
Here is the context:

Even the most jaded observer of American corporate culture had to blink when, earlier this month, Home Depot’s board of directors handed the company’s C.E.O., Bob Nardelli, more than two hundred million dollars after pushing him out of his job. The size of Nardelli’s severance was startling, but his “heads I win, tails you lose” arrangement is far from unusual in corporate America these days. [...]
 
  • K.u.r.t

    Senior Member
    Czech
    "heads I win, tail you lose" means that the arrangement was a very bad one for the company (they would always lose)

    "tail-wagging puppies" describes harmless people
     

    difficult cuss

    Senior Member
    English England
    It refers to a flip of a coin, which often have a head on the obverse side and another image on the reverse side (though I have never seen a tail on a coin).
     

    K.u.r.t

    Senior Member
    Czech
    Under normal circumstances you would say:
    heads - I win, tails - you win

    meaning:
    The coin comes either heads up (I win - therefore you lose)
    or it comes tail up (you win - I lose).

    BUT ... here it simply means that there is no way you can win.

    The coin comes either heads up (I win - therefore you lose)
    or it comes tail up (you lose - I win).
     
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