they’re not more than a gleam in the eye,"


Senior Member
Hi, everyone

“We’re looking at a couple but they’re not more than a gleam in the eye,” Buffett said of deals that would be “something similar” to Lubrizol. “They’re worth doing but we can’t do a really big elephant now and we won’t stretch when we’ve never really taken any risk because we don’t need to.”

Could you please explain the phrase ''they’re not more than a gleam in the eye,".

Thanks in advance
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    As Buffett is quoted as saying in the first part of the sentence, he is "looking at" a couple of deals. The "gleam" suggests that he is looking at them favorably, that they are highly attractive. (He goes on to say that nothing has been decided, because they are also somewhat risky.)


    Senior Member
    It means that they are currently nothing more than ideas.
    "A gleam in (the/somebody's) eye" is a set phrase. It refers to something that is still only an idea or a hope. This is from Macmillan dictionary:
    a gleam in someone’s eye
    an idea or wish that someone has that they cannot yet achieve
    Moving walkways have been a gleam in the eye of town planners for some time.
    It might or might not be a generalization from "When you were just a gleam in your father's eye" which humorously refers to your father's desires before you were conceived, to mean in the past before you existed.
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