What does ‘shoo-in’ mean?
The idiom "shoo-in" refers to a person or thing that is almost certain to win or be selected due to an overwhelming advantage or lack of competition.
The idiom "shoo-in" is a popular phrase in American English that is used to describe a person or thing that is highly likely to win or succeed in a competition or situation. It can be traced back to its origins in horse racing, where it referred to a racehorse that was considered so certain to win that other competitors were "shooed" away or scared off. Over time, the term's usage expanded beyond horse racing and became a figurative expression used to describe a clear favorite or a guaranteed success.
In contemporary usage, the idiom "shoo-in" is commonly employed in discussions about elections, job applications, sports competitions, and other situations where there is a clear front runner or a predicted outcome. It carries a sense of inevitability and confidence, implying that the result is virtually guaranteed and any competition is futile. The notion of being a "shoo-in" implies that the odds are overwhelmingly in one's favor, leaving little doubt about the outcome.
The idiom's association with horse racing provides an interesting and colorful backstory for its usage. In the world of horse racing, a "shoo-in" would be a horse that was so dominant and exceptional that it scared off any potential challengers. This gave the impression that the victory was already assured, with no need for further competition. The idiom's popularity in horse racing likely contributed to its broader adoption and usage in other contexts where a clear favorite emerges.
While the idiom "shoo-in" is mainly used in the United States, it has also gained recognition and usage in other English-speaking countries. Its versatility and ability to succinctly convey the notion of a definitive winner or success have contributed to its widespread usage. In everyday conversations, it is not uncommon to hear someone refer to a person or team as a "shoo-in" when discussing the outcome of a competition or an election.
The idiom "shoo-in" shares similarities with other idioms such as "front runner" and "big shot." These idioms all convey the idea of someone or something being in a position of advantage or having a high likelihood of success. Just like a "shoo-in," a "front runner" refers to a person or thing that is leading or favored to win. The term implies that the front runner has taken an early lead and is ahead of the competition. Similarly, a "big shot" is someone who is considered important, influential, or successful in a particular field. Both of these idioms align with the notion of a "shoo-in" in that they describe someone or something that is highly likely to emerge as the winner or achieve success.
The idiom "shoo-in" is a widely recognized and used phrase in American English. Its origins in horse racing, where it referred to a racehorse that was guaranteed to win without any competition, have expanded to encompass any situation where there is a clear favorite or a predicted outcome. The idiom carries a sense of inevitability and confidence, implying that the result is virtually guaranteed. Its usage has extended beyond the realm of horse racing and is now commonly used in discussions about elections, job applications, sports competitions, and other situations where there is a clear front runner or a predicted outcome. The idiom shares similarities with other idioms such as "front runner" and "big shot," which also describe someone or something that is in a position of advantage or likely to succeed. Overall, the idiom "shoo-in" reflects the enduring popularity and relevance of competitive and achievement-oriented language in American English.
Examples of how the idiom shoo-in can be used in a sentence:
1. She is such a talented actress that she is practically a shoo-in for the lead role in the upcoming movie.
2. With his exemplary academic record, John is a shoo-in for the prestigious scholarship.
3. The incumbent mayor is widely believed to be a shoo-in for re-election due to her popularity among the voters.
More "guarantee" idioms
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