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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 periodicals archive ?
That may explain why butterflies often appear to bask in the sun before flitting into the air.
BURBANK -- Under the shade of a coastal live oak in the city's hillsides, a group of fifth-graders from Farmdale Elementary School took binoculars Tuesday and tried to spy mockingbirds, spotted towhees, sparrows and thrashers flitting above the chaparral.
Whitener defined his fairies with quick, forward-carrying steps and wrist-flicking arm movements that evoked images of winged creatures flitting through the night; later, an extended pas de deux for Titania and Oberon used a graver, more dignified style to convey a sense of natural order restored.
Inside, it takes a moment for eyes to adjust to the dimly lit space, with candles flitting in corners above black booths.
The scherzo of the third movement had its visible analogue in the image of the flitting butterfly of Diana Vishneva.
Flitting from leafy branch to branch on towering trees in Newhall Park, the painted redstart flashed cherry red feathers hidden under the wings of its jet black body.
In the flitting duet to rescued musical passages from Swan Lake, Douglas Gawriljuk created commodious perches with his sizable frame for that hummingbird, Mabel Modrono, yet each delighted in taking off with youthful individualism.
Also flitting about the stage will be Woodstock and company, played by Megan Hayes, Kara Hayes and Grace Kimball.
But even if you only use it to ID the bird flitting around your lawn, this is the guide to get.
Cooper's group lingered on the banks of the Santa Clara riverbed in Valencia and marveled at a 3-inch Costa's hummingbird flitting from branch to branch, identifiable by its call and the symmetric spray of brilliant purple that blanketed its chest.
As Gadsby's local coterie of devotees find out about his new digs, they are flitting downtown to discover that he hasn't lost his talented touch.
It takes patience to train a pair of binoculars on a flitting creature the size of a golf ball.
The first offers a ceiling effect of fireflies flitting around a la Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean.
Rather, the lawn is a combination of ground cover, flowers, succulents and trees - hummingbirds flitting from flower to flower; sweet olive and lemon fragrances coming from the back yard near a small pond; trees ripening with figs, crab apples, lemons, pears and kumquats.
We continued on down the creek and enjoyed the sights and sounds of countless migratory birds, ranging in colors of orange, red, blue and yellow, flitting about in the creek.