away with the fairies

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Alternative forms[edit]


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  • IPA(key): /əˈweɪ wɪð ðə ˈfɛəɹɪːz/


away with the fairies (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic) Not all there; slightly crazy.
    • 2000, Peter Watt, Cry of the Curlew:
      Now, I know the story is away with the fairies, but he produces a body and I take him down to the station to talk to the detectives.
    • 2001, Finola Moorhead, Darkness More Visible:
      That was so ridiculous I laughed. A smile would crack Alison's poetic persona so she looked serious. She put her thin hand to her cheek like a lady writer in a photograph with eyes that could penetrate surfaces. She was certainly away with the fairies.
    • 2005, Ben Wright and Michael Patrick Shiels Good Bounces and Bad Lies,
      Hobday was wild, mad, and totally away with the fairies.
    • 2013, Santa Montefiore, Secrets of the Lighthouse, →ISBN, page 34:
      Don't believe a word he says, pet. He's away with the fairies.
  2. (idiomatic) Synonym of lost in thought; distracted or daydreaming.
    • 2012, Hannah Richell, Secrets of the Tides, →ISBN, page 106:
      Goodness, you were away with the fairies then! Did you hear me? I asked if you wanted another cup of tea?
    • 2014, Debbie McGowan, Crying in the Rain, →ISBN, page 55:
      Shaunna was suddenly in front of him, her voice bringing him back from wherever he'd been. “Hm?” “Are you all right, hun?” “Yeah. Why?” “You were away with the fairies there. Are you making tea?”
    • 2015, James Axler, Terminal White, →ISBN, page 198:
      Mohandas Lakesh Singh's thoughts were far away when Donald Bry placed the report on his desk. Lakesh responded with a jump of sudden surprise. “I'm sorry,” Bry apologized. “I didn't realize you were—” “Think nothing of it, Donald,” Lakesh assured with a dismissive wave of his hand. “I was just...away with the fairies.”