Idioms: A Flash in the Pan

  1. A culinary term referring to the quick sudden flame associated with cooking at high temperatures in a frying pan.
  1. The old-fashioned muzzle-loading musket contained a “pan'” which held the gunpowder. As the musket was cocked and the trigger pulled, a flint would snap down, igniting the powder and creating a brief “flash in the pan.”
  1. Based on a California gold-mining term when prospectors would get momentarily excited when they say a “flash” of apparent gold in their mining pans. In most instances the flash turned out to be fool’s gold.
  1. The “pan” refers to the upper layer of atmosphere that often absorbs lightning bolts. A flash in the pan refers to a type of heat lightning that does not reach the ground.