Green’s Dictionary of Slang

false alarm n.1

[play on SE]

1. a braggart, a boaster.

[US]O. Wister Virginian 5: Schucks! You’re a false alarm.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 25 May 6/1: He’s [a boxer] a false alarm all right, and if he has the ill-luck to meet Mike Williams he’ll wish he'd never ventured.
[US]W.M. Raine Bucky O’Connor (1910) 46: That coyote won’t pester you any more. Will you, Mr. False Alarm Bad Man?
[US]B. Sunday in Day Book (Chicago) 5 Apr. 25/2: You bull-necked, beetle-browed, hog-jowled, peanut-brained, weasel-eyed, four-flushers, false alarms and excess baggage!
[US]Appleton Post-Crescent (WI) 3 May 7/4: Flapper Dictionary false alarm – A girl who trys to be a Scandal Walker.
[US]M. West Pleasure Man (1997) II ii: I know you’re nothing but a false alarm.
[US]R.E. Howard ‘Texas Fists’ Fight Stories May 🌐 How about it, amigo? Will you mosey back up in the hills with us and flatten this big false alarm?
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 67/2: False alarm. Any insincere or disloyal person.

2. something or someone that does not live up to expectations.

[US]Ade More Fables in Sl. 170: [title] The Fable of Lutie, the False Alarm, and How She Finished about the Time that she Started.
[US]S. Ford Torchy 120: I’m what you would call a false alarm, Torchy. I’ve been tried out and haven’t made good.
[US]Van Loan ‘No Business’ in Taking the Count 155: Tierney says Callahan is a false alarm, and that the first fairly good boy he meets will lick him in a round.
[US]C.S. Montanye ‘The Dizzy Dumb-Bell’ in Top Notch 1 Aug. 🌐 You said then that he was a case for the fire department—a false alarm.
‘Boob McNut — The Meaning of Jazz’ in 🌐 That’s a fine false alarm — taking me out to the shag picnic and not jazzing me.
[Aus]‘Banjo’ Paterson Shearer’s Colt 179: ‘Searchlight’ of the Racing Omniscient said that the horse was a false alarm and couldn’t beat a carpet.
[US]T. Thursday ‘There’s Hicks In All Trades’ in All Sports Feb. 🌐 Fire—hell! It was just another false alarm—like Blood Thirsty McGaff.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).