Flip Over: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
September 28, 2023

"Flip over" is a common idiom in English that can have different meanings depending on the context. It can mean to turn something over, to become very excited or enthusiastic about something, or to change one's opinion or allegiance.

In short:

  • It can mean to turn something over.
  • In addition, it can mean to change one's opinion or allegiance
  • It can also mean to become very excited or enthusiastic about something.

What Does "Flip Over" Mean?

As mentioned above, "flip over" can have three meanings depending on the context. Let's look at each one in more detail.

  • To turn something over. This is the idiom's literal meaning, and it simply means to reverse the position of something so that the other side is facing up. This meaning is often used with physical objects, but it can also be used metaphorically to mean to reveal something hidden or surprising.
  • To change one's opinion or allegiance. It means to switch sides or perspectives on an issue or situation. This meaning is often used with controversial or divisive topics, and it can imply betrayal, dishonesty, or inconsistency.
  • To become very excited or enthusiastic about something. This is a symbolic meaning of the idiom, which means showing much interest or admiration for something or someone. This meaning is often used with positive emotions, but it can also be used ironically or sarcastically to mean to react negatively or angrily to something.

Where Does "Flip Over" Come From?

The origin of "flip over" is unclear, but it seems to have emerged in the 20th century as an extension of the literal meaning of flipping something over. Through the years, its sense of changing one's mind repeatedly or inconsistently developed, possibly influenced by the similar expression "Flip Flop," a political slang that means changing one's mind repeatedly or inconsistently.

Historical Example

According to some sources, the earliest recorded use of "flip over" in the sense of becoming very excited or enthusiastic about something was in 1936, in an American magazine called Collier's. The sentence was:

"She flipped over him at first sight."

10 Examples of "Flip Over" in Sentences

Here are some examples of how this idiom can be used in different sentences:

  • Yoink. She flipped over the painting when she saw how beautiful it was.
  • He flipped over his phone when he heard it ring out of the blue.
  • She flipped over from being a vegetarian to a vegan out of nowhere.
  • He flipped over the pancake when it was golden brown on one side.
  • Oh, snap. I flipped over the news when I heard that my favorite actor had died.
  • The boat flipped over when a huge wave hit it, throwing everyone into the water.
  • About last night, they flipped over the new restaurant when they tasted the food.
  • No questions asked. She flipped over him when she found out he was cheating on her.
  • The car hit a bump and flipped over, injuring the driver and passengers. That's too bad.
  • They flipped over the couch to look for the remote control. Lo and behold, they found it under.

Examples of "Flip Over" in Pop Culture

Here are some examples of how this idiom has been used in various forms of pop culture:

  • In the TV show Friends (1994-2004), Joey says, "How you doin'?" to Rachel, and she replies, "I'm doing good baby, how you doin'?" Joey says, "Don't make me flip over this table." In this scene, Joey jokes about how he would flip over the table if Rachel flirted with him.
  • In the book Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998), Harry says, "I'll be in my bedroom, making no noise and pretending I'm not there," and then flips over a sign on his door that says "Do Not Disturb." Harry flips over the sign in this scene to show his frustration and isolation from his family.
  • In the song "Flip Over You" (2012), by Ross Lynch, he sings "I can't believe it / You got me feeling crazy / Every time I see you girl / You make my heart beat fast / You're like a roller coaster / You take me up and down / And then you spin me all around / And I just can't get enough / I flip over you / Yeah I flip over you / Every single thing you do / I flip over you." In this song, Ross expresses how he flips over a girl and how she makes him feel excited and happy.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Flip Over"

Here are some synonyms for each meaning of "flip over":

  • To turn something over: Turn over, Reverse, Invert, Rotate, Flip
  • To become very excited or enthusiastic about something: Go crazy, Go wild, Lose it
  • To change one's opinion or allegiance: Switch sides, Change sides, Change teams

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Flip Over"

Here are some frequently asked questions about this idiom:

  • What does "flip over" mean?

"Flip over" is a common idiom in English that can have different meanings depending on the context. It can mean to turn something over, to become very excited or enthusiastic about something, or to change one's opinion or allegiance.

  • What is the origin of the phrase "flip over"?

The origin of "flip over" is unclear, but it seems to have emerged in the 20th century as an extension of the literal meaning of flipping something over. Through the years, its sense of changing one's mind repeatedly or inconsistently developed, possibly influenced by the similar expression "Flip Flop," a political slang that means changing one's mind repeatedly or inconsistently.

  • Is "flip over" formal or informal?

"Flip over" is an informal expression that is mostly used in spoken or casual written language. It is not appropriate for formal or academic contexts.

  • Is "flip over" positive or negative?

Flip over" can have positive and negative connotations, depending on the meaning and tone of the speaker. For example, flipping over something you like or admire is positive, but flipping over something you hate or fear is negative.

  • Is "flip over" a phrasal verb?

Yes, "flip over" is a phrasal verb, which means it is a verb that consists of two or more words (a verb and a preposition or adverb). Phrasal verbs often have different meanings from their components.

  • What part of speech is "flip over"?

"Flip over" can be used as a transitive verb or an intransitive verb. A transitive verb is a verb that takes an object, while an intransitive verb is a verb that does not take an object.

  • What tense is "flip over"?

"Flip over" can be used in any tense, depending on the time of the action or state.

  • What is the difference between "flip over" and "flip out"?

"Flip over" and "Flip out" are idioms that mean becoming very excited or enthusiastic about something. However, "flip out" usually implies a more extreme or irrational reaction than "flip over."

  • How do you use "flip over" in a question?

You can use "flip over" in a question by following the same rules as in a statement.

Example: "Did you flip over the book when you finished it?"

  • Is "flip over" an American or British expression?

"Flip over" is an expression used in American and British English, but it may have different frequencies or preferences depending on the region.

Final Thoughts About "Flip Over"

"Flip over" is a versatile and informal idiom with different meanings depending on the context.

Key points to remember about the idiom:

  • It can mean to turn something over, to become very excited or enthusiastic about something, or to change one's opinion or allegiance.
  • It originated in the 20th century as an extension of the literal meaning of flipping something over.
  • It can be used as a transitive verb or an intransitive verb, and it can be used in any tense.
  • It is an informal expression primarily used in spoken or casual written language.
  • Depending on the speaker's tone, it can have positive and negative connotations.
Copyright © 2023 - U.S. Dictionary
Privacy Policy
magnifier