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What does "a one trick pony" mean? What does "a one trick pony" mean?
Oct 7, 2018 7:19 AM
Answers · 6
I'm not sure of the origin of the idiom, though I believe it to mean a single-function or single-use person, animal, or object. It's often used after a lackluster or anticlimactic event in my experience. Perhaps the origin lies in rodeos of the American west or carnival shows? Merriam Webster online corroborates my definition. Also according to Merriam Webster, its first known use was in 1980.
October 7, 2018
From the Merriam-Webster dictionary: one-trick pony (noun) Definition of one-trick pony : one that is skilled in only one area also : one that has success only once First known use with this meaning: 1980 Example: The camera isn't very impressive next to those in some smartphones, and $250 is a steep price for a one-trick pony.
October 7, 2018
Hi Dawid, it does not just have to be a person in reference, it can also be used to describe other nouns. We refer to someone or something as a "one trick pony" with only one apparent special feature, talent, or area of expertise.
October 7, 2018
We often use it to refer to a persons' limited talents or the fact that they always have the same reaction to situations. You could refer to comedian Jim Carey for example as a 'one trick pony'.
October 7, 2018
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