come up trumps

This page is about the idiom come up trumps

British English


If you come up trumps, you succeed in something that you may not have been expected to succeed in.

For example

  • Nicole came up trumps, winning her match despite her injured knee.

  • John's dad was sure his son would came up trumps, and he did.

The idiom "to turn up trumps" has the same meaning.

Origin: From card games in which a card of the suit that is designated "trumps" is of greater value than a card of another suit, so a player with many trumps in his hand has a good chance of winning.


This idiom is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz

After weeks of campaigning for votes, Salima came up trumps and

a. lost the election

b. won the election

c. quit the election
a) lost the election b) won the election c) quit the election

See Idiom of the Day today

Contributor: Matt Errey

Nobody has the right to obey.'