Hold a candle

Explanation: What is an idiom?

doesn't even come close to being as good as another person or thing.

(Always used in negative : Subj couldn't hold a candle to Obj)


"So who do you reckon was Oxford Utd's best footballer?"

"No question about it. It has to be John Aldridge."

"You reckon. I think old Deano, Dean Saunders was better."

"Oh rubbish! Saunders was a good striker, but he couldn't hold a candle to John Aldridge. His record speaks for itself. Top scorer in the club's history. Rogers was a cheat anyway. Any player who falls down in the penalty area looking for a penalty is a cheat and I hate him."

"I'm sure he'd disagree."

"Yeah, well I'd like to see him try."

"Well you can. He's over there at the bar looking at you!"

"Oh No!"


Apprentices often had to hold candles up near senior workmen, so that they could see what they were doing. The idea of coming close refers to an apprentice who is learning his skill can approach a senior workman with a candle, whereas someone who doesn't know anything about the work, couldn't hold a candle to the senior workman.

Category: h

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