fly-by-night

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fly-by-night

Irresponsible (as if one is apt to flee unexpectedly). He struck me as a fly-by-night worker, so I was shocked when he came back the next day to finish the job.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

fly-by-night

Fig. irresponsible; untrustworthy. (Alludes to a person who sneaks away secretly in the night.) The carpenter we hired was a fly-by-night worker who did a very bad job. You shouldn't deal with a fly-by-night merchant.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

fly-by-night

mod. undependable; dishonest. Sam seems like such a fly-by-night character.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

fly-by-night

An unreliable or irresponsible individual, particularly one not to be trusted in business dealings. Originating in the late eighteenth century to describe a person who evades creditors by sneaking away at night, this expression is now used both as a noun and as an adjective. However, according to Francis Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1796), the term was also once a derogatory name for an old woman accused of being a witch (flying at night). Much later it became British slang for a prostitute (who worked mostly at night), and by extension, a prostitute’s vagina.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
"The movement that the bird makes, or when you have a whole kit of pigeons flying in a murmuration -- no machine can replicate that." In Syria, pigeon-flying is a popular pastime and Riley plans to next stage Fly By Night in a refugee camp there.
Fly By Night is at East Thamesmead, London, from June 21 to 23.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY * Fly by Night, ARC, Stockton, 10.30am and 2pm, tickets pounds 6, or family pounds 20.
One of the latest shows he has been to see was the Very Hungry Caterpillar, above, at Darlington Civic Theatre DON'T MISS THEM: Above from left are images from Fly By Night, the Owl and the Pussycat and
Fly by Night is more physical theatre than aerial or dance and is inspired by bedtime routines, sleep and dreams.
Fly by Night is clearly based on research, but is utterly untaxing; it's a kind of gentle half-hour introduction for young children to the wonders of physical theatre.
FLY BY NIGHT Lynn Campbell, top, and Rachel Kurtz, from the Bare Toed Dance Company, get ready for their performance in North Shields
When asked about the future of Tribes, Cannon mentioned his desire to build up the Tribes website (www.tribes.org) and detailed his burgeoning e-ventures, such as his recent decision to publish the magazine, and certain Fly By Night works, online.
It's a boost." This year Fly By Night received $2,000 from the fund.
Summary: Filipinos urged to avoid sending care packages through 'fly by night' cargo companies
Why should other ratepayers, already hammered by massive increases, provide overnight lorry parking, frequently used as haulage depots for 'fly by night' operators and juggernaut drivers?
D'Amboise's Fly By Night, by contrast, did not live up to the novelty promised by its set, an array of colorful venetian blinds.
Supporters chief Ian Cuthbertson said: "This is tremendous news - Brealey is a fly by night.
He even managed the customary encore, thrilling the fly by nights with Like A Rolling Stone and All Along The Watchtower.