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Related to flapping: flapping tremor
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(someone's) ears are flapping

Someone is listening, or trying to listen, to the details of a private conversation. Let's finish this conversation in the meeting room in case people's ears are flapping nearby.
See also: ear, flap

be in a flap

To be in a state of panic or frenzy. Mom's in a flap about this dinner party, so you better go help her.
See also: flap

ears are flapping

Said when one suspects that a private conversation is being listened to. If ears are flapping now, we should postpone this discussion until a later time, don't you think?
See also: ear, flap

flap (one's) chops

To chatter or blather. Quit flapping your chops—I need some quiet so I can think! Whenever Charlie starts to flap his chops, I can't get in a word!
See also: chops, flap

flap (one's) gums

To chatter or blather. Quit flapping your gums—I need some quiet so I can think! Whenever Charlie starts to flap his gums, I can't get in a word!
See also: flap, gum

flap (one's) jaws

To talk in a meaningless, aimless, or idle manner; to chatter or blather. Jim always starts flapping his jaws after he's had a couple of drinks. Quit flapping your jaws—I need some quiet so I can think!
See also: flap, jaw

flap around

To wave about in the air, possibly due to being unencumbered or unrestrained. You better secure that sheet—otherwise, it'll be flapping around in the wind. A: "What's that noise?" B: "Oh, just the flags flapping around."
See also: around, flap


1. Someone prone to talking a lot or at length. Good luck getting out of here—Aunt Louise is a real flap-jaw and could easily blather to you for an hour.
2. Someone who too readily shares information, especially that which is private or confidential. Some flap-jaw has been talking to the press about our new product. Needless to say, if I find out who it is, they will be fired on the spot. If you've got a secret, don't tell it to a flap-jaw like Marty!

get in(to) a flap

To enter into a state of panic or frenzy. Mom, I'll help you with getting dinner ready for the party, OK? So don't get in a flap about it—everything will be fine.
See also: flap, get

in a flap

In a panic or frenzy. Mom, I'll help you with getting dinner ready for the party, OK? So don't get in a flap about it—everything will be fine.
See also: flap
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

flap around

[for a sheet of something] to blow, flop, or slap around, perhaps in the wind. The sails flapped around, making a lot of noise. The awning flapped around during the night.
See also: around, flap

flap one's gums

 and flap one's jaws
Rur. to talk aimlessly. They're still out on the porch, flapping their gums. Well, I can't sit here flapping my jaws all day. Gotta get back to work.
See also: flap, gum
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

flap your gums

If someone flaps their gums, they talk a lot without saying anything important. Who wants to hear you flapping your gums first thing in the morning?
See also: flap, gum
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

someone's ears are flapping

someone is listening intently in order to overhear something not intended for them. informal
See also: ear, flap
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

his, her, etc. ˈears are flapping

(British English, informal) a person is trying to listen to somebody else’s conversation: I think you’d better tell me later when we’re alone — ears are flapping here.
Flap here means to move quickly backwards and forwards.
See also: ear, flap

be in/get into a ˈflap

(informal) be in/get into a state of worry or excitement: Julia’s getting into a real flap about her exams. OPPOSITE: (as) cool as a cucumber
See also: flap, get
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017


n. an argument; a minor scandal. I’m sorry about that flap we had yesterday, but it was all your fault.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The scientists built a life-size robot of Caudipteryxthat could run at different speeds, and confirmed that running caused a flapping motion of the wings.
"Our work shows that the motion of flapping feathered wings was developed passively and naturally as the dinosaur ran on the ground," Zhao says.
Now, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology propose using flexible wings that are driven by a simple sinusoidal flapping motion.
Unlike fixed-wing and rotary-wing air vehicles, micro air vehicles integrate lifting, thrusting and hanging into a flapping wing system, and have the ability to cruise a long distance with a small energy supply.
I understand that the Irish authorities have approached the flapping community, as flapping is so big in Ireland that racing under rules is losing horses.
What is the difference between a jockey returning to race under rules after 12 months' flapping and a horse doing the same thing?
OUT OF THIN AIR Despite his current passion for flapping wings, Colozza started out working on Mars flight as a fixed-wing guy.
Moreover, he predicts, "there are going to be some breakthroughs here in understanding the aerodynamics of flapping wings and very small rotary blades," advances that could change the character of Earth's own flying fleets.
MUTTLEY, you probably will not remember such flapping tracks as Bolton and Blackburn which were a lot better running surfaces than a good few NGRC venues.
This unanticipated position "refutes a common belief that a flag in a laminar wind should be always flapping," says Zhang.