Flying By: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
November 15, 2023

The term "flying by" is often used to describe something passing quickly or happening in a short period. It's a versatile phrase that can refer to a range of situations, from a quick visit to how fast time seems to be going. Whether talking about objects in motion or fleeting moments, "flying by" captures the essence of speed and brevity.

In short:

  • It describes something moving or happening quickly.
  • It can be used to talk about a quick visit, a fast-moving object, or time zooming by.

What Does "Flying By" Mean?

When you hear the term "flying by," think of something happening quickly or passing swiftly. The phrase can be used in different settings. For example, you might hear someone say, "The weekend just flew by!" to express how quickly it passed. Alternatively, "I'll just fly by your place to drop off the package" would mean making a quick, possibly unexpected, visit.

Here's a breakdown of its core meanings and uses:

  • It's used to talk about things that happen or move faster than expected.
  • You'll hear this phrase when people are surprised at how quickly time has passed or an event has occurred.
  • The term helps people point out that something didn't take long or lasted only a short while.
  • It's a handy phrase for formal situations like business meetings and casual chats among friends.
  • Similar terms you might hear include "zooming by," "rushing by," or "blazing by."

Where Does "Flying By" Come From?

While the exact origins of "flying by" aren't well-documented, the phrase likely stems from the literal sense of something flying, like a bird or plane, which naturally moves quickly. As time has passed, this phrase has come to describe not just fast-moving objects but also the quick passage of time.

10 Examples of "Flying By" in Sentences

To help you understand how to use "flying by," here are some examples from different situations:

  • The weekend was so fun that it felt like it was flying by.
  • In a time crunch, the hours are just flying by, and it's hard to keep up with everything.
  • He said he would fly by the office to grab some documents.
  • When she saw the sale sign, she couldn't help but fly by the store.
  • Oh snap, I just realized how quickly my vacation days are flying by!
  • The race car flew by the spectators at incredible speed.
  • They were having such a good time that the evening just flew by.
  • He told her he'd fly by her place to say a quick hello.
  • My bad for not calling you sooner; the days have been flying by, and I lost track of time.
  • The project was so engaging that the week just flew by for the team.

Examples of "Flying By" in Pop Culture

This phrase shows up quite a bit in popular culture, often used to describe fast action or fleeting moments.

Let's check out some examples:

  • In his book "Time Flies When You're Alive," Paul Linke writes, "Time is flying by so fast." The book talks about Linke's experience with love and loss.
  • The movie "The Time Traveler's Wife" features the line, "Life's flying by so fast for me, every day is a blur." The film is a romantic drama that explores a complicated relationship affected by time travel.
  • Billy Ray Cyrus, in his song "Flying By," sings, "It's bottles and bibs, rattles and cribs. Three am's again and again. Comfort the cry. Man, it's flying by." The song discusses the challenges and joys of parenthood.
  • The TV movie "Flying By," released in 2009, is a drama about a real estate developer who rediscovers his passion for music.
  • An article titled "The Years Are Flying By: How to Make the Most of It" offers advice on how to make the most of your time as it seems to be "flying by." The article focuses on time management and life priorities.

Synonyms: Other Ways to Say "Flying By"

Here are some other phrases that mean roughly the same thing:

  • Zooming by
  • Rushing by
  • Sweeping by
  • Passing quickly
  • Breezing by
  • Whizzing by
  • Speeding by
  • Blasting by
  • Racing by
  • Dashing by

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Flying By":

  • What does "flying by" mean?

"Flying by" can mean moving past quickly, either literally or figuratively. It's often used to describe how time seems to pass quickly or how someone or something moves fast.

  • How can I use "flying by" in a sentence?

You can use "flying by" to talk about something going quickly. For instance: "The car flew by the bus" or "Time is flying by so fast."

  • Is "flying by" more common in certain situations?

"Flying by" is pretty flexible and can pop up in many situations. You'll hear it in casual chats about how fast a weekend went or in more serious contexts, like a project deadline quickly approaching.

  • Does it refer to a real action or just a feeling?

It can mean both. "Flying by" can describe actual fast movement, like a plane or car, or express a feeling that time or events are passing quickly.

  • Is it a positive or negative phrase?

The phrase itself is neutral, but its tone can change based on the situation. If you're enjoying yourself, "time flying by" is good. If you're up against a deadline, it might be stressful.

  • Does it imply speed?

Yes, "flying by" usually suggests that something is happening or moving at a quick pace.

  • Can it be used in a work setting?

Yes, you can use "flying by" in a work setting, usually to indicate that time or deadlines are quickly approaching.

  • Does the phrase appear in pop culture?

Yes, the phrase is pretty common in movies, songs, and TV shows to talk about quick action or passing time.

  • Is "flying by" used worldwide?

The phrase is mainly used in English-speaking countries but can be understood in many parts of the world.

  • How does it compare to "time flies"?

Both phrases talk about the quick passage of time, but "flying by" is more versatile. You can use it to describe other things moving quickly, not just time.

Final Thoughts About "Flying By"

The phrase "flying by" is a go-to way to talk about things or time moving quickly. It's flexible and can be used in different settings, from casual conversations to more serious or work-related topics.

Here's a quick recap:

  • "Flying by" can mean that something is moving past quickly or that time is passing fast.
  • The phrase can have either a positive or negative tone, depending on the situation.
  • It's versatile and can appear in various settings, from casual to professional.
  • You can use it to describe actual movement and the feeling that time or events are quickly passing.

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