Idiom of the week: A snowball’s chance in hell.
Definition: Impossible, no chance, unlikely. slim to none probability.
Example: “That small boat has a snowball’s chance in hell of surviving the hurricane”


As hell is supposed to be an extremely hot and fiery place, it becomes obvious that a snowball in hell would melt right away! Therefore, if something or someone has “a snowball’s chance in hell,” it has absolutely no chance at all of happening, it is just impossible! For instance, it could be said that someone who has never done any martial art has “a snowball’s chance in hell” of winning a fight against Mike Tyson.

Moreover, if “not” is added before this idiom, the negative meaning would be even more emphatic: “He doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of passing the class; he’s failed every exam this semester!” This means that there is even less of a change for him to pass the class.

Finally, “Not a snowball’s chance in hell” can also be used alone as a response meaning “No way!” For example, if you are asked, “Are you buying a present for Tom’s birthday, even though he has cheated on you and you have broken up last week?” you could answer, “Not a snowball’s chance in hell!”

Come to Brit English School to learn more expressions like this.