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See also: Flip and FLIP



  • IPA(key): /flɪp/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪp

Etymology 1[edit]

Alteration of earlier fillip, from Middle English filippen (to make a signal or sound with thumb and right forefinger, snap the fingers), an attenuated variation of flappen (to flap, clap, slap, strike). Cognate with Dutch flappen (to flap), German flappen (to flap).


flip (countable and uncountable, plural flips)

  1. A maneuver which rotates an object end over end.
    We'll decide this on a flip of a coin.
    The diver did a couple of flips before landing in the pool.
  2. A complete change of direction, decision, movement etc.
  3. (archaic) A fillip or light blow.
    • 1851, Falconbridge, Dan. Marble: A Biographical Sketch (page 98)
      [] who looked at Dean a moment, crossed over the stage to him, raised himself on his toes, dashed his own hat firmly down to his ears, and every one on the stage supposed Dean was about to receive a flip on the ear or nose.
  4. (US, slang) A slingshot.
    • 1986, George Scarbrough, A summer ago (page 123)
      He loaded his flip and took careful aim at what he considered to be Emily's most vulnerable spot []
  5. A hairstyle popular among boys in the 1960s–70s and 2000s–10s, in which the hair goes halfway down the ears, at which point it sticks out
    Justin Bieber and Zac Efron are among the celebrities who wore a flip.
  6. (informal) The purchase of an asset (usually a house) which is then improved and sold quickly for profit.
    • 2007, Rick Villani, Clay Davis, Gary Keller, Flip: How to Find, Fix, and Sell Houses for Profit (page viii)
      What they bring to the table is hard-won brass-tacks knowledge from over fifteen years of personal investing as well as riding shotgun on over 1,000 flips with their clients.
  7. (firearms, uncountable) The tendency of a gun's barrel to jerk about at the moment of firing.
    • 1961, Sir Gerald Burrard, The gun. The cartridge (page 224)
      In the case of rifles flip is counteracted by the sighting of the weapons, and it is because of flip that the sights cannot be set so that the line of sight is exactly parallel to the axis of the bore.
    • 2015, Tara Dixon Engel, The Handgun Guide for Women (page 33)
      A small, lightweight round, such as a .22 LR, generates very manageable recoil and muzzle flip (how much the nose of the gun flips up when you fire it).
Derived terms[edit]


flip (third-person singular simple present flips, present participle flipping, simple past and past participle flipped)

  1. (transitive) To throw so as to turn over.
    Synonyms: turn, turn over
    You need to flip the pancake onto the other side.
    • 2011 September 16, Ben Dirs, “Rugby World Cup 2011: New Zealand 83-7 Japan”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      However, the hosts hit back and hit back hard, first replacement hooker Andrew Hore sliding over, then Williams careering out of his own half and leaving several defenders for dead before flipping the ball to Nonu to finish off a scintillating move.
  2. (transitive) To put into a quick revolving motion through a snap of the thumb and index finger.
    Synonym: toss
    If you can't decide which option to go for, flip a coin.
  3. (transitive, US politics) To win a state (or county) won by another party in the preceding elections.
    Wisconsin had been Democratic for decades, but the Republicans flipped it in 2016.
  4. (intransitive, US) To turn state's evidence; to agree to testify against one's co-conspirators in exchange for concessions from prosecutors.
    The mafioso flipped on his superiors to get a lighter sentence.
  5. (transitive, US) To induce someone to turn state's evidence; to get someone to agree to testify against their co-conspirators in exchange for concessions.
    The district attorney was able to strengthen his case against the bank robber by flipping the getaway driver.
  6. (intransitive, slang) To go berserk or crazy.
    I'd flip if anyone broke my phone.
  7. (transitive, informal) To buy an asset (usually a house), improve it and sell it quickly for profit.
    • 2021 March 11, Scott Reyburn, “JPG File Sells for $69 Million, as ‘NFT Mania’ Gathers Pace”, in The New York Times[2], ISSN 0362-4331:
      Typically, the art world disdains “flipping” — when a collector buys a work and then immediately resells it at a profit.
  8. (transitive, finance, slang) To refinance (a loan), accruing additional fees.
    • 2002, BNA's Banking Report (volume 78, page 747)
      The bill makes it illegal to encourage borrowers to repeatedly refinance, or "flip," a loan primarily to collect more fees.
    • 2002, United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Predatory Mortgage Lending (page 70)
      Some of our consumer protection offices are all too familiar with the abusive practice of "flipping" loans.
  9. (transitive, computing) To invert a bit (binary digit), changing it from 0 to 1 or from 1 to 0.
  10. (transitive, informal) To hand over or pass along.
    • 2014, Martyn Kinsella-Jones, A Falling of Angels
      "Flip me the details, and I'll have a sneaky beaky round for you."
  11. (intransitive, informal) To switch to another task, etc.
    • 2022, Michelle McCraw, Boss Me
      I flipped from the calendar app to the email app and logged in to view Cooper's. The unreads were staggering; I'd have to triage them later.
Derived terms[edit]
Terms derived from flip (verb)

Etymology 2[edit]

Apparently a euphemism for fuck.



  1. (UK, euphemistic) Used to express annoyance, especially when the speaker has made an error.
    • 1967, Peter Shaffer, Black comedy, including White lies: two plays:
      Impossible. He's dining out and coming on here after. He can't be reached. / Oh, flip!
    • 2000, Susan McKay, Northern Protestants:
      "Oh flip, don't come near this place," she said. It was dangerous. The Catholics had banners up on the Garvaghy Road saying, 'No Protestants here'.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Clipping of flippant


flip (comparative flipper, superlative flippest)

  1. (Britain, informal) Having the quality of playfulness, or lacking seriousness of purpose.
    I hate to be flip, but perhaps we could steal a Christmas tree.
  2. Sarcastic.
  3. (informal) Disrespectful, flippant.
    Don't get flip with me or I'll knock you into next Tuesday!

Etymology 4[edit]

Compare English dialect flip (nimble, flippant, also, a slight blow).


flip (uncountable)

  1. A mixture of beer, spirit, etc., stirred and heated by a hot iron (a "flip dog").
    • 1751, [Tobias] Smollett, chapter 9, in The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle [], volume I, London: Harrison and Co., [], published 1781, OCLC 316121541:
      [H]e had provided vast quantities of strong beer, flip, rumbo, and burnt brandy, with plenty of Barbadoes water for the ladies [] .
    • 1808–10, William Hickey, Memoirs of a Georgian Rake, Folio Society 1995, p. 21:
      I frequently took of large potations, though not of champagne certainly, but port, strong ales, and punch, and when our funds were low as sometimes happened, hot flip [] .





  1. first-person singular present indicative of flippen
  2. imperative of flippen




flip m (plural flips)

  1. a type of alcoholic punch from Normandy, composed of cider and calvados
  2. (gymnastics) backflip

Further reading[edit]