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a one-trick pony

A person, group, or thing that is known for or limited to only one unique or noteworthy skill, talent, ability, quality, area of success, etc. The app developers took the world by storm with an incredibly addictive game for smartphones, but they've really been seen as just a one-trick pony ever since that breakthrough success. As most readers suspected, the famed fantasy writer turned out to be a bit of a one-trick pony, genre-wise, with his debut novel in literary fiction being universally panned by critics.
See also: pony

shank's pony

One's legs and feet, used for walking; travel by foot. Also "shanks' pony." A reference to the shank—the lower leg between the knee and the ankle—and the use of ponies or horses for travel. My bicycle fell apart three miles away from home, so I had to use shank's pony to go the rest of the way. Unfortunately, with the sedentary lifestyle many lead today, shank's pony has largely become an obsolete mode of travel.
See also: pony

dog and pony show

An elaborately organized event used mainly for promotion or to drive sales. The car dealership had quite the dog and pony show this weekend in an attempt to sell their old inventory. To help draw attention to the company's new line of products, the manager took their dog and pony show on the road for a nationwide promotion.
See also: and, dog, pony, show

pony up (something)

To pay the amount of money that is owed or due for something. (Usually used to reference something that is excessively or unreasonably expensive.) The costs associated with getting a driver's license are absurd, but if you want to drive a car, you'll have to pony up the cash. I had to pony up $500 just to apply the visa; it will be another $500 if I'm actually granted it.
See also: pony, up

dog and pony show

Fig. a display, demonstration, or exhibition of something-such as something one is selling. (As in a circus act where trained dogs leap onto and off of trained ponies.) Gary went into his standard dog and pony show, trying to sell us on an upgrade to our software. Don't you get tired of running through the same old dog and pony show at every trade show?
See also: and, dog, pony, show

play the ponies

 and play the horses
to wager on horse races. I used to play the ponies every afteroon during the summer. Then Iran out of money.
See also: play, pony

dog-and-pony show

An elaborate presentation to gain approval for a product or policy. For example, The administration loved putting on a dog-and-pony show for every minor change of policy . This term alludes to a traveling variety show. [1950s]
See also: show

pony up

Pay money that is owed or due, as in Come on, it's time you ponied up this month's rent. The allusion in this expression is unclear. [c. 1820]
See also: pony, up

a dog and pony show

If you call an event such as a presentation a dog and pony show, you mean that it is intended to impress people, often to persuade them to buy something. I'm bombarding him and the others with charts, graphs, facts, and figures. The boss responds by dozing off during most of our dog and pony show. Ann and I sometimes do a dog and pony show at public libraries in the US. Note: This expression refers to circus acts involving dogs and horses.
See also: and, dog, pony, show

dog-and-pony show

an elaborate display or performance designed to attract people's attention. North American informal
1998 Spectator Happy as I always am to help the Bank of England, I have…supplied the script for its euro dog and pony show.
See also: show

one-trick pony (or horse)

someone or something specializing in only one area, having only one talent, or of limited ability. chiefly US
2005 DVD Verdict Joan Collins…may be a one-trick pony (she's been playing nothing but variations on her Alexis Carrington for the past twenty years), but what a trick it is.
See also: pony

on Shanks's pony

using your own legs as a means of transport.
Shanks (from the Old English word sceanca , ‘leg bone’) is now used as an informal term for ‘legs’. The original form of the expression was on Shanks's mare .
See also: on, pony

a ˌdog and ˈpony show

(American English, informal) a complicated presentation, event or display that is designed to attract people’s attention but which has little real content: They put on a dog and pony show in the hope of attracting new investors.The protest was just a dog and pony show designed to bring in the media.
See also: and, dog, pony, show

(on) Shanks’s ˈpony

(British English, informal) walking, rather than travelling by car, bus, etc.; on foot: ‘How are we going to get there?’ ‘I suppose it’ll have to be Shanks’s pony.’You young people go everywhere by car these days. When I was young all we had was Shanks’s pony.
Shanks is an informal word for your legs.
See also: pony

pony up

v. Slang
To pay some amount of money that is owed or due: I had to pony up $6 for a hot dog at the airport. The star was charging $100 for an autograph, but fans gladly ponied it up. You said you'd repay me last week, so pony up!
See also: pony, up

baloney pony

n. the penis. (Contrived for the sake of the rhyme.) All he could think about was riding the old baloney pony.
See also: baloney, pony

dog and pony show

n. a demonstration; a speech, skit, or other presentation that is presented often. Willy was there with his dog and pony show about water safety.
See also: and, dog, pony, show

pony up

Pay the money. “Pony” has nothing to do with small equines—it comes from pone, the Latin word for “put” (so does the Spanish verb poner). Therefore, if you owe someone money, you'd better pony up.
See also: pony, up
References in periodicals archive ?
Women and children under 10, were banned from underground work in the 1840s, so the use of ponies grew.
This is causing problems for farmers who use the commons as it is taking up grazing land for their livestock and cattle, while a number of the ponies are dying or suffering serious health problems from starvation.
Visitors to the stables will be able to meet the ponies, find out how they were cared for and trained for their work underground and learn more about their invaluable contribution to the North East's mining heritage.
Around 60 ponies were killed by the Arctic conditions on the mountains near Llanfairfechan - between Bangor and Conwy.
The study, the first into the genetic characteristics of the wild ponies, whose habitat in northern Snowdonia reaches heights of over 600 metres, was undertaken by scientists at Aberystwyth University using samples collected at the annual round-up of ponies above Llanfairfechan.
We have distributed a relief insurance amount of 30,000 rupees to each of the pony owners who lost their ponies during the pilgrimage," he said.
Both of the ponies are currently being cared for at the police stables in Allerton.
28 year-old Sou Chantha's pony received a deworming injection: "There were many ponies that died here when we do not have this Non-Government Organisation's help because we did not know the problems ponies were facing and we had no treatment for them.
But MSPs unanimously backed a petition from Roy Peckham, who is campaigning to "make pit ponies history".
Featuring twelve ponies (four new breeds), each with different personalities, players can customize every aspect of their appearance.
Ponies must not be confused with miniature horses as they are a completely different thing.
With some great new I Love Ponies playsets out this year, you will be able to take your pony on an exciting camping trip and even on a Wild West adventure.
Yet her new life in the country is no fairytale due to difficulties in adjusting to her new surroundings, her limited knowledge about ponies, and problems with some of her new acquaintances, such as the snooty and superior Jessica.
Wild ponies have roamed freely in Wales for three millennia.
Now without Menary to protect it from development, the future of The Farm and its 80 animals -- ponies, chickens, goats and other critters big and small -- is in doubt.