Where two are fighting, the third wins

a_menudo

Banned
Polish
This saying is used for situation in which where two people are fighting over something, a third party takes advantage of it and takes it all.
Does it sound idiomatic to English ears? Would it roll off your tongue in the following context?

Mary found a sweet and was ready to eat it when Danny got to her and tried to snatch it out of her hands. The sweet dropped on the floor and while Mary and Danny were quarrelling, Johnny quickly retrieved it and popped it in his mouth. Well, as they say, where two are fighting, the third wins.

Are there any other expressions that convey the same idea?
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I've never heard such a saying, a_menudo. Where did you come across it?
     

    a_menudo

    Banned
    Polish
    I see. What if you wanted to comment on the situation I described above with some short, proverb-like phrase, what would you say?
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I see. What if you wanted to comment on the situation I described above with some short, proverb-like phrase, what would you say?
    Well, since we don't possess a saying/proverb for this scenario, it would have to be either:
    (1) A translation of a non-English saying/proverb. Most native speakers of English wouldn't recognise it as a translation and would assume it was creative use of language. I like the Dutch proverb that translates as "When two dogs fight over a bone, a third one makes off with it"; or
    (2) Something that was merely descriptive and didn't sound like a saying/proverb. This would not possess the brevity that you are looking for.
     
    Last edited:

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I agree with sound shift.

    If you're asking what I'd probably say to Danny & Mary, the answer's "It serves you right!"
     
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