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all hat and no cattle

Full of talk that is more impressive than that which one actually possesses or is able to do. Primarily heard in US. He talks as though he knows more than anyone else, but he's all hat and no cattle. Over the years, her political rhetoric has become all hat and no cattle. She criticizes more than ever, but gets less and less done each year! That disgraced CEO is all hat and no cattle if he's saying he still has authority over the company.
See also: all, and, cattle, hat, no

be all hat and no cattle

To be full of talk that is more impressive than that which one actually possesses or is able to do. Primarily heard in US. He talks as though he knows more than anyone else, but he's all hat and no cattle.
See also: all, and, cattle, hat, no

be packed in like cattle

Of a large group or number of people, to be fit tightly into some enclosed space. The airline doesn't care if we're packed in like cattle, so long as they get our ticket fare. Sorry, I can't go the game with you—being packed in like cattle with tens of thousands of other people really triggers my claustrophobia.
See also: cattle, like, packed

big hat, no cattle

Full of talk that is more impressive than that which one actually possesses or is able to do. He talks as though he knows more than anyone else, but he's big hat, no cattle.
See also: big, cattle, no

cattle call

A large audition (for film, television, theater, etc.) that is open to the public, meaning many people typically attend and are often seen very briefly. I spent days preparing for the audition, but it turns out it was just a cattle call and they ushered me out before I was even halfway done with the monologue.
See also: call, cattle

cattle market

1. A typically public place where one goes to find potential sexual partners. Almost always used in a negative way. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Our college's student bar is such a cattle market on the weekends. It seems like everyone I know has hooked up with at least one person there. Everyone knows that the clubs on Leeson Street are just cattle markets for single people.
2. A place or situation in which people are gathered, displayed, and appraised for their looks or abilities, akin to cattle being valued in a market. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. These summer training camps are really just cattle markets for college football recruiters to find the most promising up-and-coming players. The restaurant is an oddity, a cattle market that only hires women for their large busts.
See also: cattle, market


One who steals meat from supermarkets in order to resell it. Please tell me you didn't buy this meat from a cattle-rustler.

pack (someone) in like cattle

To manage to fit a lot of people into some space. The airline packs customers in like cattle to keep costs down, safety limits be damned. We were packed in like cattle, but we all managed to fit inside the tiny auditorium for the concert.
See also: cattle, like, pack

packed in like cattle

Fit tightly into some space, as of a large number of people. The airline doesn't care if we're packed in like cattle, so long as they get our ticket fare. My claustrophobia becomes a real problem when I have to navigate a stadium for a sporting event. Tens of thousands of people packed in like cattle—what a nightmare.
See also: cattle, like, packed
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

all hat and no cattle

If you describe someone as all hat and no cattle, you mean that they seem impressive or exciting but in reality they do not do much. On this issue, western leaders are all hat and no cattle. Note: This expression comes from the West of America, where cowboys (= people who look after cattle) wear large hats.
See also: all, and, cattle, hat, no

a cattle market


a meat market

If you describe a situation as a cattle market or a meat market, you mean that people, usually women, are being judged or chosen depending on how sexually attractive they are. The parade of beautiful girls from every nation in the world was rightly dismissed as a cattle market. It's a meat market, like a lot of nightclubs. Note: You use this expression in a disapproving way.
See also: cattle, market
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

be all hat and no cattle

tend to talk boastfully without acting on your words. US informal
See also: all, and, cattle, hat, no
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017


n. a thief who steals meat from supermarkets for resale. (Underworld.) Marty is a cattle-rustler, and she’s got some stuff for sale.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

big hat, no cattle

All talk and nothing to back it up. “Big hat” is the Western ten-gallon variety; the term is often applied to ranchers. On the theory that if you're going to wear one, you'd better be a cowboy and not just dress like one, you should be able to produce a head or more of livestock. If you couldn't, you were just full of hot air.
See also: big, cattle, no
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
"directly caused", as expressed within the Impact Damage Endorsement are concerned, let me quote a discussion, in this context, with the Executives of an Insurance Company which, I trust, would elaborately distinguish the difference between: a) "Consequential Loss", b) Loss or Damage, "directly caused" by Impact with Road Vehicles or Horses or Cattles, and c) Loss or Damage caused by Impact with the Insureds' Owned/Controlled Vehicles or Horses or Cattles.
About 30,000 shareholders did accept Cattles' 1p-a-share offer and the cut-off date for shareholders to claim as creditors was last June.
The FSA said Cattles' 2007 annual report contained highly misleading arrears, impairment and profit figures.
Cattles will not expect over GBP0.01 per share cash payment to shareholders under the existing deficit in shareholders' funds and losses incurred by Cattles' financial creditors.
Fitch downgraded Cattles' long-term IDR to RD on 8 July 2009 following confirmation that the company would not pay the coupon on its GBP400m (USD606.2m/EUR451.8m) 7.125% bonds, due 2017, that fell due on 6 July 2009.
Cattles will continue to trade its doorstep lending arm Shopacheck and debt collection division the Lewis Group, with a view to developing these businesses.
Kettering-based Fruit Processing International Ltd looks set to break 1m [pounds sterling] turnover this year, thanks to a funding line from business finance provider, Cattles Invoice Finance.
Three of Britain's biggest lenders, Provident Financial, Cattles and London Scottish Bank, who control almost two thirds of the home credit market, will give evidence at a public hearing in Manchester on Thursday.
NORTH west small businesses have performed well for the third year running says the Cattles Invoice Finance annual study which reported that 52% saw an increase in turnover and 45% achieved higher profitsMartine Catton, regional sales manager for Cattles Invoice, said: ``This is a very optimistic picture for owner-managed businesses in the regionPROPERTY Solutions, the Warrington-based subsidiary of UnitedUtilities, has appointed two surveyors with years of experience in the property world.
SMALL businesses in the Midlands are among the worst affected by late payment from customers, according to the latest research by Cattles Invoice Finance.
TELECOMWORLDWIRE-15 December 2003-Owen Anderson wins IT contract from Cattles Invoice Finance(C)1994-2003 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD
ISLAMABAD -- Livestock Department of Parachinar, Kurram Agency has started vaccination and spray campaign on cattles ahead of Eid ul Azha.
Public is requested not to tie their pets and cattles with the poles and towers.
In a statement, Welcome Finance Services said: "While there is still no evidence that the information has fallen into the wrong hands or been used maliciously, Welcome Finance Services takes its obligations to protect personal data of its customers and staff extremely seriously and is implementing all of the changes to its data protection processes recommended by both the ICO and its own independent review." Cattles is now in the hands of its creditors, which include a number of banks - the biggest of which being Royal Bank of Scotland.