drop like flies

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High on grammar

Senior Member
Farsi
Hello everyone:

Does the idiom [drop like flies] work in the following sentence?

At first business was great but then our customers started to drop like flies.
Source: Myself

Thanks
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    This is a good example of why it’s important to provide context when you post a question. If your customers are indeed dying, then the phrase is appropriate. Presumably, however, that is not what you meant.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Drop like a stone (like stones)' and 'drop like a lead balloon' can be used: they don't mean dying. But really, it's the figures or the sales or the customer numbers that dropped, not the customers themselves.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Custom started to drop off dramatically.

    If you want to use an animal metaphor,
    Customers started to become as rare as swallows in winter.
     

    High on grammar

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    This is a good example of why it’s important to provide context when you post a question. If your customers are indeed dying, then the phrase is appropriate. Presumably, however, that is not what you meant.
    Here’s an example from Los Angeles Times:


    Coaching can be a pain:

    You think it’s tough on players at a World Cup? It’s the coaches that are dropping like fliesin Russia.


    In this sentence, ‘’dropping like flies” means becoming rare or reducing in numbers.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    You think it’s tough on players at a World Cup? It’s the coaches that are dropping like fliesin Russia.

    In this sentence, ‘’dropping like flies” means becoming rare or reducing in numbers.
    I can't access the article, HoG, but isn't this story about coaches getting injured?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Then that's how I would interpret "dropping like flies" - not that they were reducing in number.
     

    High on grammar

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    Then that's how I would interpret "dropping like flies" - not that they were reducing in number.
    But here's another one:

    The film met a similar response in France: audiences were shocked, and Paris daily L'Express noted that at the notorious facelift scene 'the spectators dropped like flies'.

    Horror Films - Virgin Film
    By James Marriott

    Horror Films - Virgin Film
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    But here's another one:

    The film met a similar response in France: audiences were shocked, and Paris daily L'Express noted that at the notorious facelift scene 'the spectators dropped like flies'.

    Horror Films - Virgin Film
    By James Marriott

    Horror Films - Virgin Film
    That indicates to me that the spectators were fainting.

    Again, not reducing in numbers:).
     

    High on grammar

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    Hi, Loob,

    I guess “drop like flies” should be used when there’s a negative factor involved.

    For Instance: At first business was great but then one day we failed to pass health inspection, which is why out customers started to drop like flies.

    What do you think?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    HoG, maybe it would help if you thought of the expression "drop like flies" as meaning "drop like flies that have been swatted". Picture what happens to flies when you swat them!
     
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