nine-day wonder

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nine-day wonder

A person or thing that generates interest for only a short amount of time. The band's biggest fear was becoming a nine-day wonder, soon to be forgotten when the next big sound hit the airwaves.
See also: wonder
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

nine-day wonder, a

A short-lived sensation. This term originated in a proverb dating from Chaucer’s time, “For wonder last but nine night nevere in toune.” It was recorded by John Heywood in 1546: “This wonder (as wonders last) lasted nine daies.” Another version is “A wonder lasts nine days, and then the puppy’s eyes are open,” referring to the fact that dogs are born blind, which may be the ultimate source of the analogy—that is, after nine days one’s eyes are open and the so-called wonder is seen for what it really is. The term continues to appear in all kinds of context, as in, “There is great risk in becoming involved in a product that is a nine-day wonder” (T. Lundberg, Starting in Business, 1985, writing about skateboards—he was clearly wrong).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

nine day wonder

Something with short-lived popularity. The idea is that a song, a fad, or anything else that captures the public's fancy starts out like a house on fire but begins to pall after a little more than a week. The proverb “A wonder lasts nine days, and then the puppy's eyes are open” refers to dogs being born with their eyes shut; like them, the public is blind to the fad until they become sated or bored or both and then their eyes metaphorically open. The earliest recorded use of the phrase came from William Kemp, an Elizabethan comic actor, who in 1600 did a Morris dance over the 130 miles from London to Norwich. His account of his nine-day dance-athon was titled Kemp's Nine Daies Wonder, which would suggest that the phrase had been well in vogue before Kemp used it.
See also: nine, wonder
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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