no great shakes

(redirected from great shakes)

no great shakes

Someone or something that is mediocre, unremarkable, or not very good. A: "Did you enjoy the movie?" B: "It was no great shakes, but it was something to do for the afternoon." I'm afraid the editor we hired is no great shakes. We might have to look for a replacement.
See also: great, no, shake

no great shakes

Inf. someone or something that is not very good. (There is no affirmative version of this.) Your idea is no great shakes, but we'll try it anyway. Ted is no great shakes when it comes to brains.
See also: great, no, shake

no great shakes

Nothing out of the ordinary, mediocre, as in I'm afraid the new pitcher is no great shakes, or What I did with this decorating project was no great shakes. This term possibly alludes to the shaking of dice, which most often yields a mediocre result, but there is no evidence to support this theory. [Early 1800s]
See also: great, no, shake

no great shakes

INFORMAL
If someone or something is no great shakes, they are not skilful or of good quality. She can write screenplays well enough but she's no great shakes as a director. The novel on which the film is based was no great shakes to start with. Note: This expression probably refers to shaking dice and getting a poor result, although there are other possible explanations.
See also: great, no, shake

no great shakes

not very good or significant. informal
1989 Guy Vanderhaeghe Homesick I got specs now. Catch better with them than before, but still am no great shakes at ball.
See also: great, no, shake

no great shakes

phr. someone or something not very good. (There is no affirmative version of this.) Your idea is no great shakes, but we’ll try it anyway.
See also: great, no, shake

no great shakes

Slang
Unexceptional; ordinary: "stepping in between the victim and the bully, even when the victim happens to be no great shakes" (Louis Auchincloss).
See also: great, no, shake

no great shakes

Nothing special; ordinary. There are several theories as to the origin of this term, which dates from the early nineteenth century. One holds that it comes from sailors shaking a cask, that is, dismantling it and picking up the staves, or shakes, which then had little value. Another believes it comes from shaking dice with only a poor result. Whichever is true, it was transferred to anything deemed mediocre by about 1800, as in, “I’m no great shakes at braggin” (John Neal, Brother Jonathan, 1825).
See also: great, no, shake
References in classic literature ?
"Eh, Miss," said Luke, "he'd be no great shakes, I doubt, let's feyther do what he would for him."
no great shakes Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon in Edinburgh yesterday
NO GREAT SHAKES? WELL, you can fix that with one of these chic cocktail shakers, an essential part of this oppulent look Left to right: Renaissance cocktail shaker, PS8.50, Argos; Pineapple cocktail shaker, PS25, John Lewis; Retro glass cocktail shaker, PS29, cult furniture.com
Now they are ready to improve on their disappointing display against the Danes that has left many believing they are no great shakes.
Treasury's $13 B bond reopening was ok, but no great shakes, with results pretty close to average.
Priced PS16, John lewis, johnlewis.com GREAT SHAKES The Shake and Match Shape Sorter from Hape, left, is not just your average shape sorter - each block has its own unique sound and it will help your little one with hand-eye co-ordination, dexterity and shape and colour recognition.
Thistle aren't any great shakes either, but if there's one man you can rely on, it's in-form striker Rooney.
William Muir's Lawman colt is probably no great shaKes, but it is always pleasing when a horse continues to gain education on a racetracK.
BLANKED: Park Ji-Sung (left) unmoved at coin toss NO GREAT SHAKES: Terry is snubbed by Ferdinand
Neath were no great shakes - especially during a lacklustre first half - but they were streets ahead of their shell-shocked opponents.
Equipment, weapons and armour can also be upgraded to create a point-of-combat difference, but unfortunately these are the few bespoke elements of an RPG that ultimately fails to move on in any great shakes from the first title.
Bryan Robson has had a tough time with the Blades this season but then again, City are no great shakes away from home.
We should be beating teams like Paraguay, who are no great shakes, and if we can't win these games then what will the fans think?
And she knows, too, that she is no great shakes at romance, being unattractive to most of the young men in her circle.