It’s Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Meaning:

If something is not all it’s cracked up to be, that means it was a disappointment. It failed to meet expectations.

Example: People are buzzing over this new restaurant in town, so I decided to eat there to see what the hype was about. Well, after finishing my meal, I think it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. In other words, it was a disappointing experience.
Synonyms / Related Phrases:
1. It doesn’t live up to the hype
2. It’s not all that

The Origin Of “It’s Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be”

When you hear the word “cracked,” you probably think of something that has been damaged. For instance, dropping your phone on the ground could result in a cracked screen. However, with the expression “it’s not all it’s cracked up to be,” this word has a different meaning.

In other parts of the world, such as Ireland, the word “crack” or “craic” can mean things like news, gossip, or fun. Some people might also define it as “to banter” or “to talk.” That last one fits especially well, because this phrase is basically a way of saying that something is not all it’s talked up or cracked up to be. In other words, it’s not as great as people said it would be.

Anyway, the earliest I could find this expression in print is the year 1835. Davy Crockett, a politician at the time, was quoted as having used the phrase. For instance, when commenting on someone running for president, he said:

“Martin Van Buren is not the man he is cracked up to be.”


Example Sentences

  • Ashley recommended me one of her favorite movies. She was hyping it up a lot and we do tend to have similar taste in films, so I gave it a watch. I have to say, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

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