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run-of-the-mill

Meaning: Something is run-of-the-mill if it is ordinary and nothing special.

For example:

  • There wasn't much on TV so we just watched some run-of-the-mill old cowboy movie.

  • I don't know why he won the competition. He wasn't terrible, but he wasn't anything special either; just a run-of-the-mill singer as far as I could see.

Origin: A mill is a building in which machinery makes products, like a factory. The phrase "run of the mill" first referred especially to machine-made clothes, which were seen as less "special" than hand-made clothes. The phrase than began to be used idiomatically to describe anything that was not special, but was a standard or typical example of something.

Quick Quiz:

Natasha says she's tired of going to run-of-the-mill restaurants every night. She wants to
  1. go somewhere special
  2. go somewhere cheap
  3. go somewhere normal

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