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Old English fleogende "flying, winged," present participle of fly (v.1). Flying buttress is from 1660s; flying fish is from 1510s. Flying saucer first attested 1947, though the image of saucers for unidentified flying objects is from at least 1880s. Flying Dutchman, ghost ship off the Cape of Good Hope, attested since 1803 [John Leyden, "Scenes of Infancy," who describes it as "a common superstition of mariners"]. Flying colors (1706) probably is from the image of a naval vessel with the national flag bravely displayed.
Useless; worthless •Used to emphasize terms meaning ''something of little value,'' all probably variations and euphemisms of a flying fuck (1940s+)Related Terms
in animals, locomotion of either of two basic types-powered, or true, flight and gliding. Winged (true) flight is found only in insects (most orders), most birds, and bats. The evolutionary modifications necessary for true flight in warm-blooded animals include those of the forelimbs into wings; lightening and fusion of bones; shortening of the torso; enlargement of the heart and thoracic muscles; and improved vision. Similar modifications in insects have occurred through different evolutionary pathways. The advantages conferred by flight are also great: in terms of numbers of species as well as numbers of individuals, insects, birds, and bats are among the most successful animal groups