Jet set

  • Jet set is an idiom that came into use in the mid-twentieth century. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common saying jet set, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.


    Jet set is an idiom that describes wealthy and usually flamboyant people who travel often and live a lavish lifestyle. The jet in jet set refers to traveling by jet to destinations. The expression jet set was coined by Igor Cassini, a society page writer for the New York Journal-American who published under the pen name, Cholly Knickerbocker. Shortly after the idiom jet set was coined, the nouns jet-setter and jet-setting entered the lexicon. Note that jet set does not take a hyphen, but jet-setter and jet-setting do take hyphens, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.



    Donald Trump’s jet set life: are the outgoing US president’s private jets a step down from Air Force One? (South China Morning Post)

    Stassie Karanikolaou continued her jet set trip to the Bahamas this week, and naturally her beach looks are on fire. (Daily Mail)

    Berlusconi and two of his children tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, the latest among Italy’s jet set to be hit after holidaying along Sardinia’s exclusive coastline, often called the country’s “most glamorous vacation resort”. (Jakarta Post)

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