Wolf Tickets - Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did someone tell you something unbelievable about an upcoming event in an attempt to build hype around it? If so, you could say to them they are selling "wolf tickets."

Wolf Tickets  Meaning

The meaning of "wolf tickets" is to oversell a topic of discussion around an outcome or event. The phrase can refer to someone "building hype" around a non-event.

A wolf is a predatory animal, and the expression describes predatory behavior. The person would build hype around something that's a non-event, with little promise.

Wolf Tickets Example Usage

"Look at Dana; he's selling you wolf tickets. George is selling you wolf tickets. The UFC is selling wolf tickets. Come on, people, open your eyes and see the truth."

"The speakers at the bitcoin conference are selling you wolf tickets. They have no idea if the coin is going to the moon. Only the market can decide that."

"That guy is selling wolf tickets. There's no way that event can live up to the hype around it."

"That guy is promising you full benefits and chances of promotion, but he's selling wolf tickets. They just want you to start working, and they'll work you to the bone until you quit."

Wolf Tickets Origin

The origin of the expression "wolf tickets" goes back to the early sixties. Sociologists first noticed African American gang members using the term. They would use it when referring to someone trying to sell them something inauthentic or not worth the price of the object.

The records state that the first recorded use of the phrase was in 1963, but sociologists noticed it at least two years before the date. Some experts believe it was around for many years before sociologists saw its use in street language.

Some experts believe the phrase originates from the expression "to cry wolf," but no evidence supports this theory. To "cry wolf" means to raise a false alarm or bluff someone about a topic of conversation.

Some experts believe the saying has roots in the word "woof," describing the vocal action of a dog. It's thought that it refers to a dog "with a big bark and no bite."

The phrase entered popular culture with its use by the MMA star, Nick Diaz. In a press conference for an upcoming fight with George St. Pierre, the champion at the time, Nick would say that Dana White and the UFC were selling "wolf tickets." He used the expression to state that the UFC was promoting events that were not worth watching.

Phrases Similar to Wolf Tickets

  • Don't believe the hype.
  • A con man's game.

Phrases Opposite to Wolf Tickets

  • As promised.
  • As advertised.
  • Meets the hype.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Wolf tickets.
  • Wolf ticket.

Ways People May Say Wolf Tickets Incorrectly

With this expression, some people may think there's a relationship between wolves and tickets. The reality is that the use of "wolf" indicates predatory behavior. So, using the phrase to describe an aggressive or dominant approach to something is the incorrect use of the expression.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Wolf Tickets

You can use the phrase "wolf tickets" when you're referring to someone overselling themselves with the expectations of luring people into what they have to say. So, if someone is promoting an influencer fight, promising it to be an outstanding event, you could say they are selling wolf tickets. The reality is that influencers can't box, and you're going to be in for a weak display of athletic ability, even though the promotional material looks amazing. You can use the expression in any situation where people are overpromising on performance.

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