Also found in: Wikipedia.
An empty, useless promise of something that will never arrive or be fulfilled. (A reference to Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, in which the White Queen offers Alice "jam to-morrow and jam yesterday—but never jam to-day.") Primarily heard in UK, Australia. The few staff who are still with us are growing tired of promises of jam tomorrow, while having to endure longer hours with less pay.
jam tomorrowmainly BRITISH
If you say jam tomorrow, you mean that someone often promises that something good is going to happen but that, in reality, it never seems to happen. The government's big plans for education are no more than jam tomorrow. Note: Jam today is used to refer to the idea that people can have something immediately, rather than having to wait. Economists generally assume that most people value jam today more highly than the same quantity of jam tomorrow. Note: This expression is often used to suggest that people are in fact unlikely to receive what they have been promised. Note: This expression comes from the children's story `Through the Looking Glass', by Lewis Carroll, where the Red Queen says, `The rule is jam tomorrow and jam yesterday, but never jam today.' As the main character, Alice, points out, this means that nobody will ever get any jam.
jam tomorrowa pleasant thing which is often promised but rarely materializes. British
This expression comes from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass ( 1871 ): ‘The rule is jam tomorrow and jam yesterday—but never jam today’.