40 acres and a mule


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40 acres and a mule

1. Something given by the government. The phrase refers to a promise made during the Civil War by Union general William T. Sherman that freed slaves would receive 40 acres of land and a mule. After the war, though, that land was given back to its original owners. I'm doing just fine on my own—I don't need 40 acres and a mule from the president.
2. A promise or assurance that proves to be false. I think he's just tempting us with that offer, and it'll turn out to be 40 acres and a mule.
See also: 40, acre, and, mule