a flash in the pan
flash in the pan
Someone or something whose success or popularity is short-lived. With only one hit song, it was obvious that the young pop star was going to be just another flash in the pan. The new startup created a lot of buzz, but it ended up being just another flash in the pan, out of business after just two years.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
a flash in the pan
1. If an achievement or success is a flash in the pan, it is unlikely to be repeated or to last. In the days following Beckon's victory, the British establishment has gone out of its way to try and dismiss the result as a flash in the pan.
2. If someone who has had a success is a flash in the pan, their success is unlikely to be repeated. Hopefully now I'll be taken seriously, I'm not a flash in the pan. Note: You can use flash-in-the-pan before a noun. Hers is no flash-in-the-pan talent, but a major and mature new voice. Note: This expression has its origins in the way that an old-fashioned gun worked. Pulling the trigger produced a spark which set light to a small amount of gunpowder held in the `pan'. This in turn lit the rest of the gunpowder. However, if it failed to do so there was just a `flash in the pan' and the gun did not fire properly. `Hang fire' has a similar origin.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
a ˌflash in the ˈpan(informal) a success which lasts for a short time and is not likely to be repeated: He scored a lot of goals early in the season, but hasn’t scored any since, so it may have been just a flash in the pan.This refers to an old type of gun. Sometimes the gunpowder in the pan (= a small container at the top of the gun) exploded but failed to set fire to the gunpowder inside the gun with the result that the gun did not fire a bullet.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017