Idioms: A Flash in the Pan
- A culinary term referring to the quick sudden flame associated with cooking at high temperatures in a frying pan.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.