no flies on

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A litotes suggesting one is not torpid enough to have flies settle.


  • (file)


no flies on

  1. (idiomatic) No mental weaknesses, character defects, or other significant flaws belonging to.
    • 1899, Grant Allen, Miss Cayley's Adventures, ch. 3:
      "You're jest about the very woman I'm looking for, miss. Lithe—that's what I call you. I kin put you in the way of making your pile, I kin. This is a bonâ-fide offer. No flies on my business!"
    • 1909, William Dean Howells, A Hazard of New Fortunes, ch. 5:
      I give you my word that there are no flies on his personal integrity, if that's what you mean.
    • 1914, Peter B. Kyne, The Long Chance, ch. 13:
      "He knows what we want, you bet" he whispered. "No flies on that preacher. I like him. I like any man who can do things without a diagram and directions for using."
    • 1915, John Galsworthy, The Little Man, sc. 1:
      GERMAN. Wait! You are a young people.
      AMERICAN. That is so; there are no flies on us.
    • 2000 June 3, James Brooke, "A Budget Canadian Carrier Brings Back the Friendly Skies," New York Times (retrieved 31 Oct 2013):
      "WestJet is tightly run, well managed, there are no flies on those guys," said Harry Gow, a board member of the Canadian Association of Airline Passengers.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Now usually used to suggest that a person is particularly alert, clever, or energetic.
  • Often used in the construction "There are no flies on him/her/them".

Related terms[edit]