time flies

Definition: A subtle warning that time passes quickly

Example: “It seems like only yesterday that I gave birth to you,” Jim’s mother said to him. “Yes, time flies,” he agreed, looking down at the ‘Happy Fortieth’ birthday card she had given him.


This idiom is an English translation of ‘tempus fugit’, coined by Virgil in the first century BC. To be precise, he wrote ‘fugit inreparabile tempus’ which translates as  “it escapes, irretrievable time“. That wasn’t very snappy, so it has become shortened in the intervening centuries. It’s actually quite a sobering statement.

It is often used in the phrase ‘Time flies when you’re having fun‘. Iddy disagrees with that phrase. Time’s flying at him, but he’s not having any fun whatsoever!


Definition: Feeling wonderful

Example: After achieving his highest score ever on Pac-Man, Kev was on top of the world.


Iddy couldn’t find a specific origin for this idiom, but it has been around since at least the 1920s.

However, it is certain that it didn’t come from the numerous ‘Sitting on the Top of the World’ songs that appeared shortly after the phrase’s first instances in print. And it certainly didn’t come from the one by the Carpenters, though that is one of Iddy’s favourites.

Strange that. Iddy’s rarely on top of the world himself. He’s usually the opposite. Too bad there isn’t the idiom ‘at the bottom of the world‘, because that’s exactly where Iddy would be.