What does “all mouth and no trousers” mean?

Explore the meaning of the British English idiom 'all mouth and no trousers' and how it describes someone who talks but never delivers. Learn more!

Understanding the Idiom

Definition and Meaning

“All mouth and no trousers” is a British English idiom that means someone who talks a lot but never follows through with their promises or boasts.

This person is often described as being boastful and full of talk but lacking in action.

The idiom can also be used to describe someone who is all talk and no substance, meaning they have a lot of opinions or ideas but no real ability to put them into action.

Origin and Etymology

The origin of the idiom “all mouth and no trousers” is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in Britain.

The phrase “all mouth and trousers” was used earlier than “all mouth and no trousers,” and it meant the same thing.

The word “trousers” is used in the idiom to represent action or substance, as opposed to just words.

Is “Bit My Tongue” a Similar Idiomatic Expression to “All Mouth and No Trousers”?

Yes, “bit my tongue” and “all mouth and no trousers” are both idiomatic expressions, but they have different meanings. “Bit my tongue” refers to holding back from speaking, while “all mouth and no trousers” means someone who talks big but lacks action or substance. Understanding “bit my tongue” meaning is important for effective communication.

Usage in Language

The idiom “all mouth and no trousers” is commonly used in spoken and written English in Britain and other English-speaking countries.

It is often used in informal situations to describe someone who talks a lot but doesn’t follow through.

Here are three example sentences that use the idiom:

  • “He talks a big game, but he’s all mouth and no trousers.”
  • “Don’t listen to her, she’s all mouth and no trousers.”
  • “The politician promised a lot, but turned out to be all mouth and no trousers.”

Here are three synonyms of the idiom:

  • All talk and no action
  • Full of hot air
  • Talk is cheap

Overall, the idiom “all mouth and no trousers” is a colorful way to describe someone who talks a lot but doesn’t follow through.

It is a common expression in British English and is often used in informal situations.