Archive for September 19, 2010

idiom: to be a flash in the pan

flash-in-the-pan-logo

The idiom for this week is “to be a flash in the pan”. This expression is used when we want to talk about someone or something that is famous and popular at first, but then stops being popular and disappears from public view. It can be used to talk about entertainers, products, TV shows, etc. For example:

I thought the band Mercury Rising was going to be really successful after their first hit, but they turned out to be just a flash in the pan. Nobody listens to their music anymore.

A few years ago at Christmas there was a really popular doll that everyone wanted to buy, but that didn’t last long. It was just a flash in the pan.

The  TV show Roommates was really good and it was very popular, but it was cancelled after its first season. After the first few episodes the writing wasn’t so good, and it became a flash in the pan.

As you can see in the first two examples, we often use the word “just” at the beginning of the expression. It’s not necessary to do this but it’s a very natural way of using this idiom.

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