I am looking for a different, common English idiom that expresses the same thing as a snowball's chance in hell. My teacher says I use this expression too much, and that it is not appropriate for every essay. I need a same meaning like something very cold in a hot place to have a little chance.

  • 1
    There are plenty of ways to express the meaning without resorting to idioms--unlikely, ill-fated, having little hope of success--to name a few.
    – GMB
    Jul 10, 2014 at 23:46
  • 3
    Make one up: 1. Pick a cold object 2. Pick a hot place 3. A <1>'s chance in <2>. E.g., An icicle's chance in a forest fire. Then branch out a bit- it doesn't have to be hot and cold: A germ's chance at a Lysol convention...
    – Jim
    Jul 11, 2014 at 0:42
  • @GMB That may be, but why? Idioms are so much fun!
    – Jeff
    Aug 29, 2014 at 2:09
  • Just in case others are misled: this is a joke/troll account that asks silly and deliberately disingenuous questions that nonetheless require a bit of lateral thinking to locate the actual jokes. Apr 3, 2015 at 18:05

4 Answers 4


'You've got two chances--slim and none...and Slim left town'.

  • I always like "two chances- fat and slim."
    – Jim
    Jul 11, 2014 at 5:28
  • @user3847 I like this very funny. Thank you my frend. Jul 11, 2014 at 9:56

Here are some alternatives you may consider:

  • chance in a million

  • next to impossible

  • poor prospect

  • ghost of a chance

Although I do agree these may not come across as colorful enough.


I like the (eastside)Davy Mac of Ron&Fez radio fames spin on the clasic...

Which went somthing to the effect of, "Im left with Jack and Shit.. Except Jack just left town!"

Note Im not quite sure if it actually fits this particular idioms formula or intention.. Truthfully just wanted to share what I believe to be a lesser-known personal favorite.. So thanks reguradless of relevance..


If You're in the Northern Hemisphere, "... a blizzard in July"; if you're in the Southern Hemisphere, change "July" to "January". But I have a hunch that if you use the same idiomatic expression in every essay, adding one, two, or even three alternatives into a rotation is not going to satisfy the teacher for very long. Any of the likely alternatives to the idiom are going to be somewhat informal, so in more formal writing you might want to use a phrase like "highly unlikley" or some of the choices of Armen.

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