Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
a one-trick pony
A person, group, or thing that is known for or limited to only one unique or noteworthy skill, talent, ability, quality, area of success, etc. The app developers took the world by storm with an incredibly addictive game for smartphones, but they've really been seen as just a one-trick pony ever since that breakthrough success. As most readers suspected, the famed fantasy writer turned out to be a bit of a one-trick pony, genre-wise, with his debut novel in literary fiction being universally panned by critics.
vulgar slang A penis. Hey, I don't want to see your baloney pony—pull up your pants!
dog and pony show
An elaborately organized event used mainly for promotion or to drive sales. The car dealership had quite the dog and pony show this weekend in an attempt to sell their old inventory. To help draw attention to the company's new line of products, the manager took their dog and pony show on the road for a nationwide promotion.
on shank's pony
On foot; walking. Also seen as "on shanks' pony" or "on shanks's pony." A reference to the shank—the lower leg between the knee and the ankle—and the historical use of ponies or horses for travel. My bicycle fell apart three miles away from home, so I had to go the rest of the way on shank's pony. Unfortunately, with the sedentary lifestyle many lead today, fewer and fewer people go anywhere on shanks' pony.
play the ponies
To make bets on the outcomes of horse races. I nearly lost our entire life savings playing the ponies one weekend. After that, I never gambled again in my life. My father always used to take me and my brother to play the ponies on the last Sunday of the month, letting us pick which horse to put the money on.
To pay the amount of money that is owed or due for something. (Usually used to reference something that is excessively or unreasonably expensive.) If you want to stay at an exclusive resort, you'll have to pony up the cash. I had to pony up $500 just to apply for the visa, and it will be another $500 if I'm actually granted it.
ride the porcelain pony
slang To sit down on and use a toilet, especially when one has diarrhea. Something didn't agree with me at dinner, because I've been riding the porcelain pony on and off for the last few hours. Please don't be on your phone while you're riding the porcelain pony—that's a good way to spread germs around the whole house!
One's legs and feet, used for walking; travel by foot. Also "shanks' pony." A reference to the shank—the lower leg between the knee and the ankle—and the use of ponies or horses for travel. My bicycle fell apart three miles away from home, so I had to use shank's pony to go the rest of the way. Unfortunately, with the sedentary lifestyle many lead today, shank's pony has largely become an obsolete mode of travel.
dog and pony show
Fig. a display, demonstration, or exhibition of something-such as something one is selling. (As in a circus act where trained dogs leap onto and off of trained ponies.) Gary went into his standard dog and pony show, trying to sell us on an upgrade to our software. Don't you get tired of running through the same old dog and pony show at every trade show?
play the poniesand play the horses
to wager on horse races. I used to play the ponies every afteroon during the summer. Then Iran out of money.
An elaborate presentation to gain approval for a product or policy. For example, The administration loved putting on a dog-and-pony show for every minor change of policy . This term alludes to a traveling variety show. [1950s]
See also: show
Pay money that is owed or due, as in Come on, it's time you ponied up this month's rent. The allusion in this expression is unclear. [c. 1820]
a dog and pony showAMERICAN
If you call an event such as a presentation a dog and pony show, you mean that it is intended to impress people, often to persuade them to buy something. I'm bombarding him and the others with charts, graphs, facts, and figures. The boss responds by dozing off during most of our dog and pony show. Ann and I sometimes do a dog and pony show at public libraries in the US. Note: This expression refers to circus acts involving dogs and horses.
dog-and-pony showan elaborate display or performance designed to attract people's attention. North American informal
1998 Spectator Happy as I always am to help the Bank of England, I have…supplied the script for its euro dog and pony show.
See also: show
one-trick pony (or horse)someone or something specializing in only one area, having only one talent, or of limited ability. chiefly US
2005 DVD Verdict Joan Collins…may be a one-trick pony (she's been playing nothing but variations on her Alexis Carrington for the past twenty years), but what a trick it is.
on Shanks's ponyusing your own legs as a means of transport.
Shanks (from the Old English word sceanca , ‘leg bone’) is now used as an informal term for ‘legs’. The original form of the expression was on Shanks's mare .
a ˌdog and ˈpony show(American English, informal) a complicated presentation, event or display that is designed to attract people’s attention but which has little real content: They put on a dog and pony show in the hope of attracting new investors. ♢ The protest was just a dog and pony show designed to bring in the media.
(on) Shanks’s ˈpony(British English, informal) walking, rather than travelling by car, bus, etc.; on foot: ‘How are we going to get there?’ ‘I suppose it’ll have to be Shanks’s pony.’ ♢ You young people go everywhere by car these days. When I was young all we had was Shanks’s pony.
Shanks is an informal word for your legs.
To pay some amount of money that is owed or due: I had to pony up $6 for a hot dog at the airport. The star was charging $100 for an autograph, but fans gladly ponied it up. You said you'd repay me last week, so pony up!
n. the penis. (Contrived for the sake of the rhyme.) All he could think about was riding the old baloney pony.
dog and pony show
n. a demonstration; a speech, skit, or other presentation that is presented often. Willy was there with his dog and pony show about water safety.
Pay the money. “Pony” has nothing to do with small equines—it comes from pone, the Latin word for “put” (so does the Spanish verb poner). Therefore, if you owe someone money, you'd better pony up.