Daily Archives: January 26, 2009

In like Flynn (01/25)

As I grow older, I catch myself questioning sayings that I or others around me are saying.

For instance, ‘In like Flynn’ came up in a conversation at the movie theater on Sunday. I asked aloud if Flynn refers to the swashbuckling actor, Errol Flynn, when my companion did not know- I decided to take action.

wicked, wicked ways

wicked, wicked ways


After scouring the internet (or at the least the first page of google) I discovered the following:

Apparently, “in” was used in for quite some time in regard to an individual’s success. The first time that we saw “in like Flynn” in print was in the 1946 edition of American Speech. The intention of the phrase has been explained two ways.

The PG version:

“In like Flynn, everything is O.K. In other words, the pilot is having no more trouble than Errol Flynn has in his cinematic feats.”

This version was said to be used by pilots in WWII and is the example cited in the 1946 edition of American Speech.

The Rated R version:

“Relax. You’re there. She’s practically eating out of your hand. Just buy her another drink and you’ll be in like Flynn.”

This version has more of a modern twist and refers to sexual exploits (just in case you didn’t figure that out on your own…). Supposedly Mr. Flynn was well endowed and really not ashamed in the least about it. You might say he gladly shared the – ahem- “gift” that was given him.

I was satisfied with knowing the above because it proved that my guess was correct.

However, there is one more less likely source to this saying – political organizer Edward J. Flynn.

Edward J. Flynn (R)

Edward J. Flynn (R)

Edward J. Flynn (AKA Boss Flynn) was a New York City political boss who became a campaign manager for the Democratic party during FDR’s presidency. “In like Flynn” may have been used as a political saying to boost the prominence of Boss Flynn. However, this research only surfaced after etymologists began looking in the origin.

It really becomes a what came first, the chicken or the egg – but in this instance I think its safe to say Errol came first.

Further reading:

The Straight Dope

Urban Dictionary

The Phrase Finder

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Long Live the Queen (01/24)

Just catching up from the weekend here…

Before leaving the house on Saturday for a friend’s 30th birthday, I caught a bit of a documentary on the English Parliament because nothing pumps you upĀ  for a Saturday night out like The Queen of England.

Put your hands in the air!

Put your hands in the air!

However, it’s good thing that I took those few moments because it afforded me the opportunity to learn something new.

The Queen is Head of State of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms*.

*(a Commonwealth Realm is any one of the sixteen sovereign states within the Commonwealth of Nations that recognize Elizabeth II as their respective monarch.)

The realms originally were self governing Dominions* within the British Empire. This status changed with the granting of full independence to each realm.

*(Dominions refers to one of a group of semi-autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, from the late 19th century)

The realms are as follows:

Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis

Inadvertently, this has helped me to solve the mystery of the Canadian 20 dollar bill:

Now it makes sense, eh?

Now it makes sense, eh?

I can’t even count the number of times that I have held one these in my hands. Although, at the time I was more likely distracted by the fact that I gave the currency exchange $20 American dollars and they gave me $24 Canadian dollars back. (Why that was a whole drink for free!)

It is probably the fault of the libations consumed that I never questioned the Queen of England presence on this beautifully colored currency. Oh the memories…

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