Not all it’s cracked up to be means that something fails to meet the high expectations or positive portrayal it initially had. Imagine purchasing that highly-rated blender everyone’s talking about, only to discover it can’t even blend an apple properly. Disappointed much? Yeah, I’d say so. Blenders are expensive!
Originating from the cracks of the 19th century, this idiom flawlessly expresses disappointments without breaking a sweat because that’s what idioms do! They convey our thoughts and opinions in a non-literal way.
Keep reading as we delve deeper into this idiom’s meaning, origin, and usage, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of its significance in the English language.
Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be Meaning
Not all it’s cracked up to be is a candid way to express that something doesn’t live up to its hype, expectations, or initial presentation. It’s the go-to phrase when reality falls short of the flashy advertisement.
It’s the frown you wear when you finally receive that expensive dress you ordered online, and it looks nothing like it did on the screen. It’s the first bite of food you’ve had all day, but it doesn’t taste good.
Punctuating the Phrase
You might see this phrase without the apostrophe in the word it’s, but that would be wrong. Here, it’s is a contraction of it and is.
- Wrong: Not all its cracked up to be
- Right: Not all it’s cracked up to be
Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be Origin and Etymology
The idiom not all it’s cracked up to be is derived from an archaic meaning of crack, which is to brag about something or to praise something effusively. This definition of crack was popular in the late 1700s and early 1800s. If something is cracked up to be superior, then when it is proved to not be superior, it is not all it’s cracked up to be. A quote from Davy Crockett noted American frontiersman and politician: “Martin Van Buren is not the man he is cracked up to be.”
Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be Synonyms
- Doesn’t live up to the hype
- Falls short of expectations
- Not up to par
- Not what it’s made out to be
Examples of Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be in a Sentence
- The Barbie movie got rave reviews, but honestly, it wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
- While everyone seems to love New Year’s Eve parties, they’re often super loud and crowded, and not all they’re cracked up to be.
- That famous diner? We went last week to try their signature chicken sandwiches, and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
- I always thought being a manager was a dream job, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
- That hyped book? Pfft, trust me, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
- His art exhibition was not all it was cracked up to be; I’ve seen more emotion in a paper bag.
- The latest phone model seemed so cool, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
- Being an adult looked fun as a kid, but it’s totally not all it’s cracked up to be.
Concluding With a Crack
Not all it’s cracked up to be is an idiom that stands tall, perfectly describing our daily disappointments with the world. If you’re ready for more idioms, you’re in luck. I have hundreds on our site, so check them out.