“It’s not all sunshine and roses” is a phrase you may have heard in the past before, but were unsure as to its meaning. This article will fully explain what “It’s not all sunshine and roses” means in detail and showcase the proper uses of it using example sentences.
The idiom “It’s not all sunshine and roses” is used to convey the idea that a seemingly good or positive situation isn’t entirely so, and that it has its own drawbacks or negative factors as well. It can be used to talk about many different seemingly positive situations.
The idea of “Sunshine and roses” is that both are seen as positive, happy elements. Therefore, when you say that something is not “all sunshine and roses”, you’re saying that something is not just good or positive, that it has negative elements as well.
Curiously, this phrase has no known origin, which means that no one knows how it got started. However, its meaning is fairly evident once you understand the reasoning behind it.
When you use the phrase “It’s not all sunshine and roses”, you’re indicating that in spite of its seemingly positive factors, a situation is not exclusively positive, and in fact has some negative aspects to it.
However, it’s important to understand that “It’s not all sunshine and roses” doesn’t necessarily indicate that a situation is bad, just that a situation is not perfect, and has good and bad aspects to it.
Taking a look at the US Google Ngram Viewer and the UK Google Ngram Viewer reveals that the phrase “Not all sunshine and roses” sees about the same amount of use in both America and the United Kingdom.
However, this hasn’t always been the case. The graphs reveal the fact that though the phrase first got used in writing in the United Kingdom in the year 1865, it stayed relatively unpopular in that country up until the mid-1990s.
By contrast, though the phrase first got used in American writing in the year 1873, it became immensely more popular there, and by the beginning of the 20th century was already more popular in America than in the US.
Here are some example sentences that will show you how to properly use “It’s not all sunshine and roses”:
- Though their marriage looks really happy, from what I know it’s not all sunshine and roses.
- I know that my job looks great but trust me, it’s not all sunshine and roses.
- Living in that country might seem appealing but it’s not all sunshine and roses.
- That movie looks like a really fun and cute time, but it’s not all sunshine and roses.
- Being a staff member in a daycare is not all kittens and rainbows, trust me.
- Working at a big law firm is not all peaches and roses, despite what you might believe.
- You have to consider that life in the suburbs is not all sunshine and roses.
- Movie sets are a very rough work environment, it’s not all sunshine and roses.
- Being a freelance private tutor is not all sunshine and roses, it can be really hard.
- Though watching movies for a living seems like a dream job, it’s not all sunshine and roses.
Because the core meaning of “It’s not all sunshine and roses” just requires two positive or happy items, there are plenty of variations on the phrase. Here are some of them:
- It’s not all sunshine and rainbows
- It’s not all kittens and rainbows
- It’s not all peaches and roses
- It’s not all sunshine and lollipops
- It’s not all peaches and cream
- It’s not all beer and skittles
- It’s not all moonlight and roses
Here are some phrases that you can use in place of “It’s not all sunshine and roses”:
- It’s not all fun and games
- It’s not all hunky-dory
- It’s not exclusively good things
- It’s not all just fun times
- It’s not all play and no work
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.