Posted by Blondin on March 25, 2003
I'm new here so forgive me if I post this in the wrong place.
I wanted to add another possible derivation for the "flash in the pan" expression.
The usual context is something or someone who appears promising at first but turns out to be a disappointment. I have heard the "flintlock misfire" explanantion but I have also heard that it may refer to early gold-diggers panning for gold. A flash in the pan could mean you've struck gold.