pie in the sky

Idioms & Phrases

pie in the sky

An empty wish or promise, as in His dream of being hired as a sports editor proved to be pie in the sky. This expression was first recorded in 1911 in a rallying song of a union, the International Workers of the World (or "Wobblies"): "Work and pray, live on hay, you'll get pie in the sky when you die."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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