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"Like a house on fire"

Posted by R. Berg on June 06, 2001

In Reply to: Meaning of "get along like a house on fire" posted by Alison Pignolet on June 06, 2001

: I've used the expression "they get along like a house on fire" often, and realize I don't know what that means, really. Can anyone tell me?

The Oxford English Dictionary lists "like a house on fire (afire)" among proverbial colloquial phrases containing "house." Its definition is "as fast as a house would burn; very fast or vigorously." To my mind the phrase suggests frenzied activity and applies better to, say, working than to something quieter like getting along. But if you meant that people got along well, your listeners probably understood you.