The phrase "fly by" means to pass quickly or swiftly. When time "flies by," it passes rapidly. This idiom suggests that something moves fast, like a bird in flight.
"Fly by" suggests that something is happening or has happened more quickly than anticipated.
"Fly by" is an idiomatic expression that conveys the idea that time or an event is passing or has passed quickly or rapidly. The phrase alludes to the speed and fleeting nature of flying objects, illustrating how swiftly time can seem to pass in certain circumstances.
Let's delve into its essential meanings and usages:
The phrase "fly by" is largely derived from the basic concept of flight. When we see something flying by, like a bird or airplane, it usually moves quickly and disappears from sight within moments. This fleeting nature of flight has become a metaphor for describing how swiftly time can seem to pass. Hence the idiom "time flies." The first recorded use of the term "fly by" in this context is not well-documented, but its usage has been widespread and common in English-speaking cultures for decades.
"We fly by night 'mongst troops of spirits.
We fly by night 'monest troops of spirits."
- Macbeth, William Shakespeare, 1623
Here are some examples of the idiom in use:
The phrase "fly by" often appears in pop culture, generally conveying the idea of rapidly passing the time.
Let's explore some instances:
There are several alternative expressions that convey a similar meaning to "fly by."
Here are some of them:
"Fly by" is an idiom implying that something, often time, is passing or has passed more swiftly than expected.
You can use "fly by" to describe anything that seems to occur or finish quickly. For example, "We were having so much fun at the event that the evening just flew by."
The idiom "fly by" is derived from the concept of flight, representing something moving quickly and disappearing from sight soon, like time.
No, while "fly by" is often used to describe the swift passage of time, it can also apply to any event or experience that seems to occur or conclude rapidly.
"Fly by" is neutral. It simply describes the rapidity of an event or period, which can be either positive or negative depending on the context.
While "fly by" is often used in casual or informal conversations, it can also be used in formal writing if the context is appropriate.
Generally, "fly by" is used to describe past or ongoing experiences. However, in some cases, it could be used for future events in a speculative way, such as "I bet the concert will fly by."
Phrases like "drag on," "crawl by," or "slow-paced" can be considered opposites of "fly by," indicating something that seems to take a long time to pass or complete.
Yes, "fly by" can also describe something or someone moving quickly past a certain point, as in "The car flew by."
Yes, the concept of time or events passing quickly is a universal experience and is easily recognized across different cultures and languages, even if the specific phrase "fly by" is English.
The idiom "fly by" effectively communicates the perception of time or events passing swiftly. It's a handy phrase for capturing the ephemeral nature of experiences, especially those that end sooner than we would like.
Here's a quick recap:
It's a powerful reminder to cherish every moment and seize opportunities, as time can "fly by" before we realize it. This phrase can also be a comforting assurance during difficult times, knowing they will "fly by" eventually.