Fly the coop

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Fly the coop is an idiom that originated in America. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom fly the coop, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Fly the coop means to leave, to depart, or to escape. Someone who escapes a boring lecture may be said to fly the coop. A child leaving home for college may be said to fly the coop. A person who escapes a terrible job may be said to fly the coop. The expression fly the coop is based on the image of a chicken flying out of its pen; however, coop was a slang term for jail in the 1800s. The first uses of the term fly the coop appear around the turn of the twentieth century and are used in reference to someone escaping from jail. Related phrases are flies the coop, flew the coop, has flown the coop, flying the coop.


The story centers on Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson), a teenager who is ready to fly the coop. (LA Weekly)

Notably, Aspen City Councilmember Skippy Mesirow made a social media point recently of having booked a trip to Bolivia in the wake of his recent COVID vaccination, stating “… After 1+ years of COVID lockup, I am ready to fly the coop …” (Aspen Daily News)

Totus Capital portfolio manager Sam Granger has flown the coop and secured funds management industry doyen Chris Cuffe’s support for his new venture. (Financial Review)

Know the idioms for the following phrases below: