Jeff introduces Laura, who just went for shopping for ornaments:

Laura: Just another diamond bracelet.

Jeff: Just a diamond bracelet? That doesn't sound like you.

Laura: You're right. I don't like to break up a set, so I got matching diamond earrings and a matching diamond necklace.

What does it mean, "break up a set"?

I find this line in Downsizing 2018

1 Answer 1


To "break up a set" means taking one piece out of a set permanently, so the set doesn't exist as such any more.
Suppose there were a set of valuable silverware, all of the same pattern. Then if someone bought all the spoons, because that was all they needed, they would have broken up the set and decreased its value.

Now, in the particular example you cite, Laura is using the phrase sarcastically as an excuse for having spent a lot of money on jewelry. There's no reason to believe that the items she bought were actually part of a valuable set.

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