Posted by Barney on February 23, 2004
In Reply to: Stop Flapping posted by James Briggs on February 20, 2004
: : : Does anyone know the origan of the phrase "Stop Flapping" We resently saw a pub called the Flapper and have found out that a flapper is the stick with a peace of rubber used to swat fires on moor land. Does Stop Flapping have something to do with this.ie does it mean don't panic just stop flapping and move away from the fire.
: : : Any ideas.
: : : Phil
: : : A "flapper" was also a dancer during the "roaring twenties." Also, when someone is talking too much, they are said to be "flapping their lips," so it could be a request for someone to be quiet.
: In the 1950s RAF to get 'into a flap' meant to start to panic. I don't know the derevation, but I bet the meaning is the one meant in your 'stop flapping' quote.
When birds are startled what do the do? They start flapping their wings to make a quick escape. I suspect this may have something to do with the origins of this phrase.