set the Thames on fire

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set the Thames on fire

To do wonderful or exciting things; to cause a great or remarkable sensation in the world; to be extremely exciting, popular, famous, renowned, etc. (Refers to the Thames river in London. Often used in the negative to indicate the opposite.) Primarily heard in UK. I wouldn't be too concerned with what he thinks of you. For all his money and education, he's hardly setting the Thames on fire, is he? When she was a child, Janet dreamed of setting the Thames on fire as a famous actress.
See also: fire, on, set, Thames