fall like ninepins

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Related to falling like ninepins: dropping like ninepins

fall like ninepins

To succumb to a particular problem. This phrase is typically only used when more than one person has been adversely affected. Ninepins is a game that is similar to bowling. Primarily heard in UK. Now that the flu is going through our school, people are falling down like ninepins.
See also: fall, like, ninepin

fall like ninepins

or

go down like ninepins

or

drop like ninepins

BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If people or things fall like ninepins, go down like ninepins or drop like ninepins, a lot of them are very quickly injured, killed or destroyed. Sgt Russell Smith, 35, told of his terror at seeing officers `falling like ninepins'. There was a time when Liverpool players never seemed to get injured, but now they're going down like ninepins. Note: Ninepins are skittles.
See also: fall, like, ninepin
References in periodicals archive ?
Jobs are falling like ninepins right across the country, from the prosperous South East to the industrial heartland of Sunderland.
With Doyen's major challengers falling like ninepins, the 50-point bonus looks a formality - famous last words?
SEEDS have been falling like ninepins during the last few days of the World Indoor Championships at Potters but Ireland's Jonathan Ross, ranked 13, can buck the trend tonight when he faces Steve Glasson, writes Ron Wyllie.
IIrish Derby 2: Unfortunately they're falling like ninepins in the Shelbourne Classic for Paul Hennessy.