go down like a lead balloon

go down like a lead balloon

also go over like a lead balloon

Meaning

  • be poorly received by an audience
  • an act or show that the audience do not like at all
  • fail completely and be considered a flop by the public
  • be completely unsuccessful or unpopular
  • a total failure
  • fall flat

Example Sentences

  1. The joke he cracked went down like a lead balloon.
  2. The issue that the politician raised in his speech went down like a lead balloon with the public.
  3. His idea about the new product went down like a lead balloon.
  4. Your plan for this project would go down like a lead balloon with the stakeholders.
  5. His first public show as a musician went down like a lead balloon.
  6. The proposal to cut the expenses went down like a lead balloon.

Origin
The phrase originated in America and was first referenced in a Mom-N Pop cartoon that appeared in several US newspapers in June 1924. After that, the phrase was not used again until after the World War II, in the The Atchison Daily Globe, in May 1947. Since then, the phrase entered the mainstream language and has been in use. “Go over like a lead balloon” is the US version while “Go down like a lead balloon” is the UK version of the phrase.

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