What does the idiom "claim to fame" mean?

Idioms are generally defined as groups of words that form a meaningful whole when they come together, even though the words in them do not make sense on their own. They have produced many idioms according to their own cultural characteristics in communities using the English language. What does claim to fame mean? In what situations is claim to fame used?

Meaning of "claim to fame"


The phrase “claim to fame” is an idiom. An idiom is a phrase that has a meaning which is not directly related to the actual words in the phrase. To “have a claim to fame” or “have a claim of fame” is to be famous for something or to possess something that makes you famous. It often signifies a special accomplishment or an extraordinary talent.


The phrase dates to the mid-1800s. The word “claim” originated from the Middle English “clame”, derived from the Old French “clamer”. The definition of “clamer” is to “call out loudly”. The word “fame” is derived from the Latin “fama”, which means “news” or “report” as in “word of mouth”.


The phrase is typically used when referring to an accomplishment or an event that has brought someone recognition or notoriety. It is often used humorously when referring to an event or circumstance that is unlikely or unlikely to bring fame. In other words, it can be used to poke fun at someone else or yourself for something minor or comical.

Example Sentences

  • Lisa's claim to fame is her amazing collection of vintage dresses.
  • John's claim to fame is that he was once on the same flight as a celebrity.
  • I can't believe that painting the fence is my claim to fame now!

The meanings of the words in the "claim to fame" idiom

The universal role of idioms

"Kill two birds with one stone" is an English idiom that means to accomplish two things with a single action. In French, the similar idiom is "Faire d'une pierre deux coups," which translates to "To kill two birds with one stone." This idiom highlights the efficiency of completing two tasks with one action.


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