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Flash in the Pan

You use the expression ‘Flash in the Pan’ to indicate that something has failed, particularly if it had an impressive beginning.

Example of use: “He only wrote one hit single; his music career was pretty much a flash in the pan.”

Interesting fact about Flash in the Pan

The term ‘flash in the pan’ originated sometime during the late 17th century, when flintlock muskets were used. An attempt to fire a musket that resulted in gunpowder flaring up but no ball firing was referred to as a flash in the pan.