flit

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moonlight flit

A hasty nighttime departure, typically done to avoid paying money that one owes. Primarily heard in UK. I can't afford the rent this month, so we need to make a moonlight flit!
See also: flit, moonlight

do a moonlight flit

To depart hastily at night, typically to avoid paying money that one owes. I can't afford the rent this month, so we need to do a moonlight flit!
See also: flit, moonlight

flit about

to move about quickly; to dart about. A large number of hummingbirds were flitting about. Butterflies and moths flitted about among the trees and flowers.
See also: flit

flit from person to person

Fig. to move quickly from person to person or thing to thing. (See also flit from something to something else.) Tom flitted quickly from person to person, handing out snacks and beverages. The singer flitted from table to table, working the crowd for tips.
See also: flit, person

flit from (something to something else)

 
1. Lit. [for an insect] to fly quickly from one thing to another. The butterfly flitted from flower to flower.
2. Fig. [for someone] to go quickly from task to task, spending little time on each one. The housekeeper only flits from room to room without ever getting anything completely clean.
See also: flit

do a moonlight flit

make a hurried, usually nocturnal, removal or change of abode, especially in order to avoid paying your rent. informal
Make a moonlight flitting is recorded from the early 19th century and appears to have originated in northern England or Scotland. The expression is now often shortened to do a moonlight .
See also: flit, moonlight

do a moonlight ˈflit

(British English, informal) leave the place where you have been living in quickly and secretly, usually to avoid paying your debts, rent, etc: When I called to get the money she owed me, I found she’d done a moonlight flit.
See also: flit, moonlight
References in classic literature ?
Thrice I sprang towards her and tried to clasp her in my arms, but each time she flitted from my embrace as it were a dream or phantom, and being touched to the quick I said to her,
A dark, ironical smile flitted across his lips, he wished to reply, but the effort hastened the snapping of the chord of life -- he expired.
A few antelopes looked down upon them from the brow of a crag, but flitted away out of sight at the least approach of the hunter.
A curious change flitted across old Troop's hard face.
Then again, when she felt a wish to look forth from her seclusion, immediately, as if her thoughts were answered, the procession of external existence flitted across a screen.
Bessie Carvil's figure appeared in black silhou- ette on the parlour window; then, with the sound of an opening door, flitted out before the other cot- tage, all black, but with something white over her head.
The wild effects of the light enchained me to an examination of individual faces; and although the rapidity with which the world of light flitted before the window, prevented me from casting more than a glance upon each visage, still it seemed that, in my then peculiar mental state, I could frequently read, even in that brief interval of a glance, the history of long years.
She has flitted away to town, with no intention of remaining there, and will soon flit hither again, to the confusion of the fashionable intelligence.
Whether he noticed the look of terror with which Pierre regarded that lifeless arm, or whether some other thought flitted across his dying brain, at any rate he glanced at the refractory arm, at Pierre's terror-stricken face, and again at the arm, and on his face a feeble, piteous smile appeared, quite out of keeping with his features, that seemed to deride his own helplessness.
It was the mysterious, evil forest, a charnel house of silence, wherein naught moved save strange tiny birds--the strangeness of them making the mystery more profound, for they flitted on noiseless wings, emitting neither song nor chirp, and they were mottled with morbid colours, having all the seeming of orchids, flying blossoms of sickness and decay.
We tried to freight sound with the vague thoughts that flitted like shadows through our consciousness.
There was, to my mind, something eerie and ghost-like in the endless procession of faces which flitted across these narrow bars of light,--sad faces and glad, haggard and merry.
When I slept or was absent, the forms of the venerable blind father, the gentle Agatha, and the excellent Felix flitted before me.
The lights were out in the hall, and a small yellow flame flitted about down there.
Belated wanderers upon the mountains spoke of gangs of armed men, masked, stealthy, and noiseless, who flitted by them in the darkness.