nothing to write home about

Much like meh, the expression (to be) nothing to write home about is used to express indifference* about something that you're unimpressed with. In other words, nothing spectacular

In terms of its origin, I personally believe it's a reference to kids in summer camp writing home to tell their parents about what a great time they're having — although some claim that it's about soldiers stationed overseas, writing home to tell their families about their experiences. But that interpretation doesn't make much sense to me because I can't imagine anything nice about war to report to your family except that you haven't been shot dead. 

However, regardless of where it came from, this is a very common expression in American English and a great addition to your conversational arsenal.


*You may hear the expression no great shakes in movies or shows — especially older ones, which has more or less the same meaning. Although this expression isn't as common nowadays as nothing to write home about, it's equally expressive and will be understood by everyone. And because it's a bit outdated, it can also quite funny when used sarcastically or humorously. In the above snippet, you'd say: The venue was no great shakes, but the food... 

Nina and Boris discuss his coworker's wedding, which Nina couldn't make it to.


Nina: So how was Julian's wedding? They must've gone all out.

Boris: The venue was nothing to write home about, but the food... what a spread! I mean beef Wellington, shrimp, lobster, caviar, pâté... the works! 

_____________⦿ to go all out | to spare no expense on something and have the best of everything⦿ venue [vɛ́nyu] or [vɛ́ɲu] | the place where an event is held⦿ spread | a selection of foods and dishes served at a party or event⦿ the works | the full range of possibilities; everything you can imagine. For instance, a pizza with the works refers to a pizza with all the toppings imaginable.