there are no flies on (one)

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there are no flies on (one)

1. One is very active or works at a fast pace. Alludes to the idea that flies do not or cannot settle on fast-moving animals. There are certainly no flies on Judy. She works so fast that the rest of her team can't keep up with her.
2. One is not at all dull or dimwitted; one is exceptionally sharp or shrewd. In this usage, "there are" is often contracted colloquially into "there's." A: "My son keeps trying to get his little sister to do his chores for him, but she sees through his ploys every time." B: "I tell you, there's no flies on her." There are no flies on our boss. He always seems to be one step ahead of what the market is doing.
See also: flies, no, on, there
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

no flies on someone

Fig. someone is not slow; someone is not wasting time. (On the image of flies not being able to land on someone moving fast.) Of course I work fast. I go as fast as I can. There are no flies on me. There are no flies on Robert. He does his work very fast and very well.
See also: flies, no, on

There's no flies on someone

. Rur. Someone is full of energy and drive. There's no flies on Jane. She's up at five every morning, training for the big race.
See also: flies, no, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

no flies on one

One is wide awake; there is nothing slow or dull about one. For example, She may be new to this field, but there are no flies on her. This slangy expression, which alludes to flies settling on a sluggish animal, was being used in Australia in the 1840s but did not appear in America until the last decades of the 1800s.
See also: flies, no, on, one
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

there are no flies on someone

If you say there are no flies on someone, you mean that they are quick to understand a situation and are not easily deceived. Oh, he was a smart one, all right. There were no flies on him.
See also: flies, no, on, someone, there
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

there are no flies on —

the person mentioned is very quick and astute.
Early instances of this expression suggest that it originated with reference to cattle who were so active that no flies settled on them. The phrase was noted in the mid 19th century as being very common in Australia as a general expression of approbation. In the USA it could also be used to convey that the person in question was of superior breeding or behaved honestly.
See also: flies, no, on, there
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

(there are) no flies on somebody

1 somebody is not stupid and therefore cannot be tricked or deceived easily: You can’t just tell her that you’ve lost the money; she’ll never believe you. There are no flies on Jane, you know.
2 somebody is skilful or clever at doing something: There are no flies on Jim. He can persuade anybody to buy a car from him.
See also: flies, no, on, somebody
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

there's no flies on him/her

This person is very sharp and shrewd. The expression refers to the fact that he or she doesn’t stand still long enough for flies to land. A late nineteenth-century Americanism, it appeared in Eugene Field’s poem “Jest ’fore Christmas” (1892): “Most all the time, the whole year round, there ain’t no flies on me.” It also was in the title of a Salvation Army song (1900), “There Are No Flies on Jesus” (“There may be flies on you and me, / But there are no flies on Jesus”). More recently, Robert Barnard used it (Death and the Chaste Apprentice, 1989): “‘Oh, I’ve ideas all right. There’s no flies on me, you know. I’ll get to the bottom of it.’”
See also: flies, no, on
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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