tin

(redirected from tinning)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to tinning: tinnitus

does (exactly) what it says on the tin

(Something) does precisely what it claims or is supposed to do. Primarily heard in UK, Ireland. This budget hostel isn't glamorous but does exactly what it says on the tin: it gives you a place to sleep at a very affordable price. This no-frills antivirus software is straightforward and does what it says on the tin.
See also: does, on, say, tin, what

be like a cat on a hot tin roof

To be anxious and unable to sit still or relax. A: "Why is Carrie pacing?" B: "She's waiting for the doctor to call with her test results, so she's been like a cat on a hot tin roof all day."
See also: cat, hot, like, on, roof, tin

tin ear

1. A lack of musical ability, especially in relation to proper pitch. Unfortunately, most karaoke singers have a tin ear.
2. The inability to recognize subtleties in language. Don't try to joke around with him—he has a tin ear and can't distinguish sarcasm.
See also: ear, tin

(little) tin god

A pompous person. My attraction for him waned after he spent the entire evening acting like a little tin god. Everyone on the school board acts like a tin god. It's so irritating!
See also: god, tin

*busy as a beaver (building a new dam)

 and *busy as a bee; *busy as a one-armed paperhanger; *busy as Grand Central Station; *busy as a cat on a hot tin roof; *busy as a fish peddler in Lent; *busy as a cranberry merchant (at Thanksgiving); *busy as popcorn on a skillet
very busy. (*Also: as ~.) My boss keeps me as busy as a one-armed paperhanger. I don't have time to talk to you. I'm as busy as a beaver. When the tourist season starts, this store is busy as Grand Central Station. Sorry I can't go to lunch with you. I'm as busy as a beaver building a new dam. Prying into other folks' business kept him busy as popcorn on a skillet.
See also: beaver, busy

tin ear

Fig. a poor ear for music; a poor hearing ability when it comes to music and distinguishing pitches. I think I had better not try to sing along with you. I have a tin ear and would ruin your performance.
See also: ear, tin

be like a cat on a hot tin roof

to be nervous and unable to keep still What's the matter with her? She's like a cat on a hot tin roof this morning.
See also: cat, hot, like, on, roof, tin

a (little) tin god

  (literary)
someone who behaves as if they are more important or powerful than they really are Have you seen him over there, acting like a little tin god?
See also: god, tin

a tin ear

  (informal)
if someone has a tin ear, they do not have a natural ability to understand or enjoy music Even to someone with a tin ear like mine, their singing sounded pretty awful.
See also: ear, tin

busy as a beaver

Also, busy as a bee. Hardworking, very industrious, as in With all her activities, Sue is always busy as a bee, or Bob's busy as a beaver trying to finish painting before it rains. The comparison to beavers dates from the late 1700s, the variant from the late 1300s. Also see eager beaver; work like a beaver.
See also: beaver, busy

like a cat on hot bricks

Also, like a cat on a hot tin roof. Restless or skittish, unable to remain still, as in Nervous about the lecture he had to give, David was like a cat on hot bricks. The first expression replaced a still earlier one, like a cat on a hot bake-stone, which appeared in John Ray's Proverbs (1678). The second was popularized as the title of Tennessee Williams's play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955).
See also: brick, cat, hot, like, on

tin god

A self-important, dictatorial, petty person who imposes ideas, beliefs, and standards on subordinates. For example, The officials in these small towns often act like tin gods. The tin in this expression alludes to the fact that tin is a base metal with relatively little value. [Late 1800s]
See also: god, tin

tin cow

n. canned milk. This tin cow is okay in coffee or something, but you can’t drink it.
See also: cow, tin

tin dog

n. a snowmobile (in Alaska). Who’s out there riding the tin dog?
See also: dog, tin

tin grin

n. a smile with a mouth having braces. I’ll be glad when I get rid of this tin grin.
See also: grin, tin

tin hat

n. a soldier’s helmet. You use your tin hat for everything—washing, hauling water—you name it.
See also: hat, tin

cat on a hot tin roof

A Southernism that meant someone who was on edge or nervous. The phrase survives as the title of Tennessee Williams's 1955 Pulitzer Prize–winning drama.
See also: cat, hot, on, roof, tin