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Related to tins: Tiens, Toms

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

*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

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

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
References in classic literature ?
So, while they were walking through the forest, the Tin Woodman told the following story:
After this the enchanted axe cut off my arms, one after the other; but, nothing daunted, I had them replaced with tin ones.
Once more the tinsmith came to my help and made me a body of tin, fastening my tin arms and legs and head to it, by means of joints, so that I could move around as well as ever.
Both Dorothy and the Scarecrow had been greatly interested in the story of the Tin Woodman, and now they knew why he was so anxious to get a new heart.
I shall take the heart," returned the Tin Woodman; "for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.
To be sure neither the Woodman nor the Scarecrow ever ate anything, but she was not made of tin nor straw, and could not live unless she was fed.
The complaint alleges that McCormick, which is the largest seller of black pepper (in tins) in the United States (estimated to sell in excess of approximately 70% of all black pepper in tins) has for decades used standard-sized, non-transparent metal tins that are well known to retailers and consumers throughout the U.
Following this with tinned sweet potatoes, he may dig out of his tins a whole roast fowl, half a roast fowl and sausage, galantine of game, camp pie, lunch tongue, ox tongues, spiced beef, Oxford sausages, smoked sausage, or chicken, ham and tongue sausage.
The tins of Mars Celebrations we checked weighed an average 883g net.
From about 1850, a lengthy process of direct printing was used to decorate the tins to make them attractive.
With the advent of offset lithography, patented in 1875, colour printing on tins became possible and was the main method used for tins in the 20th century.
THERE ARE A VARIETY of surface finishes to choose from these day including OSP, HASL, ENIG, immersion silver and immersion tin.
Whereas in conventional automated stores, the bread tins are stored on the floor, in this system the straps are stacked on the floor conveyor, which moves in both directions to bring the stacked tin straps to the robots.
The soft, biomorphic cylinder of Truncated (pink) has been formed out of a skin of bright pink dots--actually squarish tins filled with shades varying from cerise to pale rose.