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      • Native Language:
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      • India
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    • Join Date: Aug 2008
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    #1

    "splash in the pan"

    Hello,

    I came across a news story about the great American Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. The headline was "Mom ensured it's no splash in the pan". It goes on to describe Michael's difficult childhood and his struggle to excel at swimming.

    Can someone please explain the meaning of "splash in the pan"?

    Thank you


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: "splash in the pan"

    It is a pun on the idiom "flash in the pan" = one-off success.

    He is certainly not a "one-off success"!

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    #3

    Re: "splash in the pan"

    I'm not a teacher.

    Hi Olympian,

    splash in the pan = one that promises great success but fails (accidental success)

    flash - Middle English flashen, to splash, variant of flasken, of imitative origin. (Anglika’s pun)

    Flash refers to a sudden and brilliant but short-lived outburst of light

    flash in the pan: Information and Much More from Answers.com

    Regards

    V.

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    #4

    Re: "splash in the pan"

    @Anglika - Thank you for explaining it. There was no way to figure out that it is a pun because I did not know the original one (flash in the pan). And there is no way to figure out what the original one is. But I can understand the pun now (i.e since Phelps is a swimmer - hence "splash"). Thanks again.

    @Vil - Thanks for the reference.

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