밑져야 본전 – Korean Idioms #7

3 Speed Only

With Explanaitons

It seems that you have to do something, but you became hesitant for whatever reason. In this case, many people try it because they think they have nothing to lose or just trying it cannot harm themselves. In this case, Koreans uses the expression, "밑져야 본전."

밑지다 is the synonym of "손해보다," losing money, time or whatever valuable resources.
본전 is the money you spent for your first investment.

So 밑져야 본전 means "If you spent your money here, it is possible that it cannot generate any profit, but you can surely get what you invested. You will not lose anything" Therefore, it became an idiom meaning "You have nothing to lose" or "Trying doesn't harm you."

Examples

밑져야 본전인데 한 번 해 보지 그래?
You have nothing to lose. Why don't you try it?

밑져야 본전일 줄 알았는데, 생각보다 필요한 것이 많다.
I first thought that trying it cannot harm myself, but I realized that it costs more than I imagined.

밑져야 본전이라는 생각으로 지원해 봤는데 붙었다.
I applied for that company because I thought I had nothing to lose and I passed.