Flash in the pan
Flash in the pan : Phrases
Something that shows great promise, then disappoints by being over too quickly.
Joe Clark's political career turned out to be a flash in the pan.
Flintlock muskets have small pans to hold the gunpowder fuse. Sometimes the gunpowder in the pan would flare up without firing the gun. That would be a flash in the pan.
Alternative: Derives from the early gold prospectors who would literally see a flash of light as they panned for gold, but who would often fail to find the nuggets on closer inspection.
Related Phrase : Pan Out
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