Tim Bowen is at his best as he delivers another fine article on idioms.
If you have the best of both worlds, you have the benefit of two very different types of advantage at the same time, e.g. ‘Enjoying the combination of five-star luxury with our friendly personal service, you’ll have the best of both worlds’.
If, on the other hand, you say that something is the worst of both worlds or the worst of all worlds, you imply that it only contains disadvantages, as in ‘Politicians from all sides have attacked the decision to invade as being the worst of all worlds’.
If you make the best of a bad job, you accept a bad or difficult situation without complaining and try to deal with it as well as you can, as in ‘Having missed his train, he decided to make the best of a bad job and enjoy a leisurely meal’.
The expression at the best of times is used for saying that something is bad or difficult even in normal circumstances but is even worse or more difficult in the present situation, as in ‘Persuading the bank to lend you money is a difficult task at the best of times’.
If you are at your best, you are showing your most impressive or attractive qualities, as in ‘I’d only just got out of bed so I wasn’t at my best’.
If you fear the worst, you believe that something very bad will probably happen, as in ‘When the third goal went in, United began to fear the worst’.
The expression if the worst comes to the worst is used for saying what you will do if the worst thing that could happen does happen, as in ‘If the worst comes to the worst, we’ll just cancel the holiday and go home’.