A far cry from

A far cry from is an idiom that has murky origins. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom a far cry from, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

A far cry from describes something that is very different from the item it is being compared to. For instance, one may say that sleeping on hay is a far cry from sleeping on a feather bed. The expression a far cry from came into its figurative use in the early 1800s; however, a far cry from was used as a measurement of distance for hundreds of years before that time. Earlier, a far cry from meant that someone was too far away to hear a loud human cry.

Examples

A far cry from her indie beginnings, Mai’s musical growth is laid out in Portnoo, an instrumental and stargazing ode to one of Donegal’s gems. (Irish Times)

And what they’re growing is a far cry from the garlic many of us are used to: generic white bulbs, often from California or China, treated with chemicals to preserve shelf life. (Loudon Now)

It’s a far cry from Rowe’s famed deadpan routine of stepping into the most challenging (and disgusting) working environments that started with Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” in 2003 and morphed into CNN’s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” in 2014. (USA Today)