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A slang phrase from the Southwestern United States, indicating a person is more image or projection than actual substance.
It is probably derived from the region's contempt for people who are not cowboys or ranchers but who try to mimic the frontiersman image through superficial adoption of the region's folkways.
President Bush's new tax plan is supposed to help the struggling middle class and revitalize the stock market. However, closer analysis reveals that he's just all hat and no cattle.
by MAC-Gyver May 27, 2003
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Originating: American South West.

Loosely Synonymous: Superficial, Not Authentic, Less Than Meets the Eye.

Literally referring to someone who wears a cowboy/rancher style hat & clothes, but has no cattle or live stock. An individual dressing like someone they are not.

Figuratively or metaphorically referring to someone who does not meet the expectations or image that they put forth. A person who doesn't back up what they insinuate or say.
He walks around town with his 10-gallon hat and a bolo tie, but that's all it is. He's all hat and not cattle.

He says he can cook authentic Italian dishes better than a restaurant, but after he made me Chicken Parm that night I can tell he's All Hat and No Cattle.
by Mack'nJackson June 18, 2018
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This is a saying (and I can't for the life of me find the origins) that means that someone is all talk and no action/substance. Someone who dresses nicely but doesn't really have any money.
Joe says he makes a lot of money and wants to buy my business, but after checking his credit references I've found that he's all hat and no cattle.
by Florida Biker August 20, 2011
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