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fly the coop Options
Bacsicare
Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2019 9:54:44 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 1/17/2019
Posts: 1
Neurons: 3
Location: Hà Nội, Ha Noi, Vietnam
: to leave suddenly or secretly : to escape or go away
In the morning the suspect had flown the coop.
All their children have flown the coop. [=have moved away from home]

In these two examples, "fly the coop" is not used in the past tense. Is it true that the idiom is usually said in the past tense? Does "How to cope when kids fly the coop" sound strange to you?
thar
Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2019 10:25:52 PM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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Well, it can be any tense but it is often in a past tense because it is often what you discover, (that they have escaped) not what they do.



Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 5:52:02 AM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Another idiom for the same meaning (secretly or quietly without permission) - "do a flit".

In the morning the suspect had done a flit.

The verb "flit" is simply to move house (not secretly). It has no inflections except "I flit", "he/she/it flits" and "flitting".
The past tense and past participle are 'flit'.




Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
FounDit
Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 12:29:51 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 10,631
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Another idiom for the same meaning (secretly or quietly without permission) - "do a flit".

In the morning the suspect had done a flit.

The verb "flit" is simply to move house (not secretly). It has no inflections except "I flit", "he/she/it flits" and "flitting".
The past tense and past participle are 'flit'.

Another idiom not heard in American English. I've learned two new (to me) differences between our usages today.


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 12:44:13 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/2016
Posts: 1,321
Neurons: 8,344
Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
It's idiomatic to say "do a moonlight flit", the idea of doing it at night when everyone else is asleep and will not notice adds the element of secrecy.
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/do-a-moonlight-flit
Quote:

do a moonlight flit
uk informal

to leave secretly, especially to avoid paying money that you owe:
When he discovered the police were after him, he did a moonlight flit.


I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
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