The following sample of more than a hundred b.g.c cites disagree:
Europe, America, Bush: Transatlantic Relations After 2000 By John Peterson, Mark A. Pollack 2003 (page ix). "'This book', we promised our audiences (and prospective readers), would do 'exactly what it says on the tin').
The Netherlands By Neal Bedford, Simon Sellars 2007 (page 226). [of an entertainment venue] "It does exactly what it says on the tin: serves up steaming portions of hot jazz in wood-bound surroundings...".
Why We Make Art: And Why it Is Taught By Richard Hickman 2005 (page 91). "I remember the adrenaline rush of having to work and think quickly, the pleasure of discovering that materials could be used in more ways than 'just what it says on the tin'...".
Leading Change: A Guide to Whole Systems Working By Margaret Attwood 2003 (page 64). [In a section titled "'What's On The Tin?' - building organisational identity] "An activity is organised called 'delivering what it says on the Tin'. Its purpose is to: • Take stock of what the agency already says about its purpose,...".
Scotland By Alan Murphy 2004 (page 156) [of accommodation in Glasgow] "The luxurious, atmospheric and backpacker options have been joined by a bewildering number of large, no frills, chain hotels, all doing just what it says on the tin.".
Lecturing: A Practical Guide By Sally Brown, Phil Race 2002 (page 61). "We need to ensure that this method of fostering students' learning is 'fit-for-purpose' in that it is undertaken [...] in a way that is appropriate for the context and the student cohort and that, in the jargon, it does what it says on the tin!.".
The E-Marketing Handbook: An indispensable guide to marketing your products and services on the Intenet by Matt Haig - 2001 (page 158). "As virtually every market sector is represented by thousands of Web sites it makes sense to have a domain name that gets to the point and, to use the old expression, ‘does exactly what it says on the tin'.".
The full phrase is "it does exactly what it says on the tin". That is very different from "what it says on the tin". In the first case, it does something, and no further explanation is needed - that is the whole point of the idiom, no further explanation needed. In the second case, "what it says on the tin", there is nothing being done, and thus the idiom makes no sense, unless you already knew the meaning of the original idiom. It's a sort of shortened slang version of a slang phrase. I suggest this article be renamed to the full original phrase. Green Cardamom 02:49, 4 May 2011 (UTC)