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"In like (Errol) Flynn"

Posted by Bob on October 28, 2002

In Reply to: "In like (Errol) Flynn" posted by R. Berg on October 28, 2002

: : : : "In like Flynn" as opposed to "In like Flynne"

: : : : In Australia the phrase "In like Flynn" seems to be used to denote that one is well accepted into a particular group or culture or that one is safe or secure or that something is deeply and securely imbedded.

: : : : The phrase seems to be linked to a famous Australian Presbyterian Clergyman and Missionary, the Very Reverend John Flynn (1880 to 1951). His fame is based on his work and involvement in developing the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the "Pedal Radio" in the late 1920's and early 1930's.

: : : : His base of operations for much of his ministry was at (Australian Inland Mission) Alice Springs in Central Australia.

: : : : John Flynn became a legend in his own life time and was widely known as "Flynn of the Inland"

: : : : Because the town of Alice Springs is so geographically centrally located in Australia it is generally deemed not possible to get any further into the interior.

: : : : Hence the phrase "in like Flynn" in an Australian context.

: : : It would be interesting to know the source for this information. Eric Partridge (Dictionary of Catch Phrases: American and British, from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day) says of the same phrase that it "has two independent usages, the US and the Aus., although with much the same meaning." He says the original Flynn for the phrase as used in the US was Ed Flynn, a Democratic Party political boss in the Bronx; for the Aus. phrase, it was the actor Errol Flynn.

: : Ooh. This deserves extra investigation. Errol Flynn was a famous, um, well, swordsman, and being "in" related to his success with seducing women. Hearsay - it's what I heard, and heard from people who read his biography. More investigation, please.

: Partridge backs up that hearsay. More quotations from his "in like Flynn" entry: "The Aus. catchphrase emerged slightly later [than the US one]. It has been defined by G. A. Wilkes, 1978, as 'seizing an opportunity offered, especially sexual' in the 'Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms' . . . Alexander Buzo [Aus. playwright] glosses it thus: 'Flynn, in like' (also 'in like Errol') refers to the athletic and sexual prowess of the late Australian-born actor [Errol Flynn]'."

There was a series of spy-spoof movies, the first of which was originally intended to be titled "In Like Flynn," but the censors of the time (1960's? '70s?) wouldn't permit it - so it became "In Like Flynt," a profound change that miraculously preserved our collective virtue as a nation.

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