Complete Definition of "all hat and no cattle"

English

Alternative forms
big hat, no cattle

Idiom
all hat and no cattle

  1. context|US|idiom Full of big talk but lacking action, power, or substance; pretentious.

Synonyms
all bark and no bite, all bluff and bluster, all booster, no payload, all crown, no filling, all foam, no beer, all hammer, no nail, all icing, no cake, all lime and salt, no tequila, all mouth and no trousers, all mouth and trousers, all shot, no powder, all sizzle and no steak, all talk, all talk and no action, all wax and no wick

Quotations
1980, Patricia Calvert, The Snowbird, Scribner, ISBN 0684167190, page 29,
:A fortune can be made on the prairie, and that's what me and Mr. B aim to do. Don't aim to be all hat and no cattle forever, let me tell you!
±1982, w:Paul W. Cronin|Paul W. Cronin, quoted in Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein (Eds.), The American Elections of 1982, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (1983), ISBN 0844735310, page 82,
:They provided a lot of talk, what Texans refer to as âall hat and no cattle
1985, Regis MacKenna?, The Regis Touch: Million-Dollar Advice from Americaâs Top Marketing Consultant, Addison-Wesley Longman, Incorporated, ISBN 0201139812, page 27,
:Thereâs an old Texas saying about a cowboy who was âall hat and no cattle.â That is, he was all show and no substance.
2001, Janis L. Edwards, "Running in the Shadows in Campaign 2000: Candidate Metaphors in Editorial Cartoons", in American Behavioral Scientist, Volume 44 Issue 12, page 2142,
:We expect a leader to be effective in his job, not just a public relations artist who is "all hat and no cattle."
2007, John Saul, "Freewheeling", in Call It Tender, Salt Publishing, ISBN 1844713229, page 31,
:<!-- [sic] lack of quotation marks in the dialog --> She slapped my backside. Yew olâ cowpoke.
:Iâm a cowpoke?
:Yew certainly are. All hat and no cattle.

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