Professional Teacher
Flip-flopping - have you heard of the expression?
I came across this expression for the first time in a debate I listened to recently. The word was being used in a completely different context to the typical use ie beach footwear, although I could obviously see where the expression originated.

For example, the Government was flip-flopping over ways to combat Covid 19.

Can you think of other examples using it in a sentence?
Jun 8, 2020 7:37 AM
Comments · 5
It is used to refer to someone who is constantly changing their mind about something.
June 8, 2020
I got the impression that the term originally came from fish, when out of water, who flip and flop around trying to get back into the water. The flipping and flopping motion the was used to describe a state of mind - not being able to make up one's mind.
It was just an impression, so I may be incorrect, but still an interesting theory.
June 8, 2020
To flip-flop means to change one's opinion or position from one side to the opposing side or argument. It has a negative connotation (not a compliment) and there is an implication that the change of position was more impulsive than properly thought through.
June 8, 2020
In the US, it is an expression that is used almost exclusively in politics to describe a politician that takes inconsistent positions on an issue or set of issues. It is used to paint a politician as untrustworthy on an issue or in general. I have never heard it used outside of a political discussion.


"I don't like him because he flip flops on every issue, he has no core values"
"She flip flopped on the war"
"They flip flopped on abortion"
June 8, 2020
Thanks for all the contributions. Yes Aaron and Cole, I think you are both right regarding the negative connotation that the expression conveys. From what I have read you can also use it when referring to changes in company policy too.
Karen thanks too on your idea on a possible origen of the word, it sounds plausible...
Keep ideas rolling in..
June 8, 2020
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