run of the mill

Idioms & Phrases

run of the mill

Ordinary, average, as in There's nothing special about these singersthey're just run of the mill. This expression alludes to fabrics coming directly from a mill without having been sorted or inspected for quality. It has survived such similar phrases as run of the mine and run of the kiln, for the products of mines and kilns. [Late 1800s]

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