steal someone's thunder


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Related to steal someone's thunder: take with a grain of salt, whole nine yards

steal someone's thunder

Use or appropriate another's idea, especially to one's advantage, as in It was Harold's idea but they stole his thunder and turned it into a massive advertising campaign without giving him credit . This idiom comes from an actual incident in which playwright and critic John Dennis (1657-1734) devised a "thunder machine" (by rattling a sheet of tin backstage) for his play, Appius and Virginia (1709), and a few days later discovered the same device being used in a performance of Macbeth, whereupon he declared, "They steal my thunder."
See also: steal, thunder