does exactly what it says on the tin

does exactly what it says on the tin

Meaning | Synonyms

  • someone or something is exactly as they seem
  • no hidden agenda or aim
  • the item works as per the instructions
  • someone or something does what they are supposed to do

Example Sentences

  1. This medicine does exactly what it says on the tin, because I feel so much better.
  2. Have you tried the new wood paint from Ronseal? It does exactly what it says on the tin.
  3. The guy did exactly what it said on the tin. He was the right man for the job.


This informal British phrase started out as a 1994 TV advertisement slogan for Ronseal a paint and varnish manufacturer. It is a simple and catchy way to state that the paint and varnish products from that company all worked as per the instructions on the side of the tin. The product does exactly what the instructions say it will do. So, if you have bought a wood varnish that is weather resistant then your fence will be protected from the rain etc. Ronseal still use the slogan to this day and it is a registered trademark for them across Europe.

The slogan has found its way into mainstream speech as a way to say that something is exactly right for the job in hand.

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Idiom of the Day

drastic times call for drastic measures

Meaning: extreme circumstances can only be resolved by equally extreme actions

Example: After the company had posted losses for the third consecutive year, the board decided to replace all of its top management. After all, drastic times call for drastic measures. Read on


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