Jam tomorrow


      • false promise
        To describe a promise of something better or more desirable in the future, which is unlikely to materialize

      • delayed satisfaction
        To refer to the idea of postponing rewards or benefits to a later time, often with the implication that they may never actually come

    Examples of Jam tomorrow

    • The sales manager promised me a promotion next month, but he's been saying "jam tomorrow" for the past six months.

      The idiom "jam tomorrow" means making promises for the future without any immediate action or fulfillment. In this example, the sales manager keeps promising the speaker a promotion, but never follows through with it in the present. This leaves the speaker feeling frustrated and skeptical about the manager's promises for the future.

    • Alice promised Tom that she would make him some strawberry jam, but every time he asked her, she replied, "Jam tomorrow, never jam today."

      This is a classic example of the idiom "jam tomorrow" being used to describe a situation where something is consistently promised for the future, but never actually delivered. In this case, Alice is continually putting off making the jam for Tom, leading to his frustration and disbelief in her promises.

    • The company kept promising their employees that better working conditions and higher salaries were just around the corner, but year after year, they kept saying "Jam tomorrow, never jam today."

      Here, the idiom is being used to describe a situation where promises are made but never kept, leaving people feeling disappointed and deceived. It highlights the disconnect between what is promised and what actually happens.

    • Michael kept telling his wife that he would take her out for a nice dinner, but every time she asked, he replied, "Jam tomorrow, never jam today."

      This example illustrates the idiom being used to portray a situation in which someone continually makes plans but never follows through. It can highlight the frustration and disappointment felt by the person who is always left waiting for something that is never delivered.

    • The politician repeatedly made grand promises about improving the economy and creating new jobs, but his constituents became wary of his always-optimistic statements and dubbed it "jam tomorrow."

      This use of the idiom shows how people can lose faith in someone who consistently makes promises but fails to deliver. It highlights the hope and anticipation that is initially associated with such statements, but also shows how that hope can turn to skepticism and disbelief over time.


    The idiom "jam tomorrow" is often used to convey the idea of a promise that is unlikely to be fulfilled. It can also be used to describe the concept of delaying gratification, with the implication that the promised reward may never actually be received. In both cases, the idiom conveys a sense of skepticism and doubt about the likelihood of a positive outcome in the future.

    This idiom is commonly used in situations where someone is being offered something that seems too good to be true, or when they are being promised future benefits that may never materialize. It is also used to caution against putting too much faith in promises of future rewards, particularly when there is little evidence to support the likelihood of their fulfillment.

    Overall, the idiom "jam tomorrow" serves as a warning to be cautious about relying on promises of future benefits, and to be skeptical of the likelihood of these promises coming to fruition.

    Origin of "Jam tomorrow"

    The origin of the idiom "jam tomorrow" can be traced back to Lewis Carroll's novel "Through the Looking-Glass," where the character of the White Queen uses the phrase to make a point about the unreliability of promises. In the book, she tells Alice, "The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday—but never jam today." This is often interpreted as a metaphor for the futility of relying on promises of future rewards, without any guarantee of their fulfillment.

    The idiom has since become a popular way to express skepticism about promises of future benefits, and the idea of delaying gratification with the uncertainty of receiving the promised rewards. It is often used in a cautionary context, to advise against putting too much faith in the prospect of future rewards that may never materialize. The origins of the idiom in literature have given it a timeless quality, and it continues to be widely used in modern English language.