Drop like flies

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Drop like flies is an idiom that first appeared around the turn of the twentieth century. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the meaning of the expression to drop like flies, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

To drop like flies means that a number of people are animals are dying, becoming ill or succombing to a situation in some fashion. Related phrases are drops like flies, dropped like flies, dropping like flies. While the earliest known use of the expression to drop like flies occurred in the Atlanta Constitution in 1902, the exact reasoning behind the phrase is unclear. The lifespan of a fly is certainly short, and flies often die at the same time in great numbers. Note that the correct plural spelling of the word fly is to change the y to an i and add es.


As misogynistic news anchors and politicians drop like flies across the country, we’re locked in tax reform gridlock and the continued debacle of health-care reform. (The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

Head coach Doug Preston said he’s moved past that forgettable night when key players dropped like flies with injuries and the offense was held to 18 total yards and one first down. (The Bowling Green Daily News)

When you notice your client eating healthy food, they can shoot 12- to 14-hour days, have energy and can shoot while everyone else drops like flies. (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Newlyweds say their £2,000 honeymoon turned into “a complete disaster” after a horror sickness outbreak left guests at the luxury resort “dropping like flies”. (The Mirror)