Time Flies – Its Meaning, Origin & Usage

You’ve probably heard this idiom before, but did you know that it has its roots in ancient Chinese philosophy? The saying comes from the belief that time passes faster as you get older.

This phrase was adopted into English during the 19th century.

Time really does fly, but it also slows down at times. If you want to live longer, you should try to enjoy every moment of life.

What Is The Meaning Of ‘Time Flies’?

The idiom “time flies when you’re having…fun,” meaning “the passing of time seems to move faster while you are enjoying yourself,” came into common usage during the 19th century.

While the exact origin of the expression is unknown, it is thought to come from the idea that time moves faster when people are happy.

A variant of the expression is “time goes by fast when you’re having fun.” This version is often seen in advertisements where the slogan reads “Have Fun Today!”

In addition to being used as a stand-alone saying, the phrase is commonly found within longer expressions such as “time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like bananas” and “time waits for no man”.

Time flies: Time goes by very quickly. It’s surprising how much time has passed already and we haven’t noticed it.

Since this is something that is unexpected, it’s usually followed by “I can’t believe it,” and “it’s hard to believe.” Once again, because it’s unexpected it’s also used as a question: “How does the time go?” or “Doesn’t it seem like time passes quickly?” 

But as you can see from some of the examples below, it’s sometimes used to describe things that make us sad or unhappy.

What Are Some Examples Of using Time Flies?

“Time flies when you’re having a good time. Or maybe it’s just me. Either way, it seems like yesterday that we met up again. And it’s been 10 years since we’ve seen each other. But time really does seem to fly when you are having fun.”

Time flies when you are having fun.

Time flies when you’re happy.

Time flies when I’m laughing.

Time flies when we’re together.

Time flies when he/she looks at me.

Time flies when she/he talks to me.

Time flies while we talk.

What Are Some Other Ways To Say Time Flies?

1. I can’t believe how much time has passed since we’ve seen each other.

2. We had a great time while we were here.

What Is The Origin Of Time Flies?

The expression “time flies” dates back to around 1800, although there are some earlier citations. In his 1785 play Love’s Last Shift, William Congreve wrote, “Time flies; let us enjoy what we have.”

Alexander Pope used the same idea in his 1688 poem Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot. He wrote, “And time, a swift-winged messenger of death, / Flies o’er our heads, and we forget to breathe.”

In 1801, Henry Fielding published Joseph Andrews, where he wrote, “Time flies apace, and nothing now remains / To tell how many days, how many weeks, how many months, how many years, / How many ages ago, my dear, we parted.”

Why Do Writers Often Use The Phrase?

The phrase “time flies when we’re having fun” has been around since the early 1900s. In fact, it was originally written as “time flies when I’m having fun.”

However, it wasn’t until the late 1980s that the phrase gained popularity among young people. This trend continued into the 1990s when it became popular again. Today, it appears in many forms online, including social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Idioms are often a good way to connect with readers. They help build character and add depth to a piece of writing. But some clichés can come across as forced or cheesy, especially when used in a book or screenplay.

For example, “I love you” is a common expression, but it doesn’t always work well in fiction. If you want to include such an idiom, consider how it fits in context. Does it fit naturally? Is there another way to say what you mean?

Final Thoughts

So, if you want to say that time flies, then you should be able to find plenty of ways to do so. You could simply say, “It seems like time flies.” Or you could add a few more words to your sentence to make it even stronger. For example, you might say, “It seems as though time flies when we’re together.”

You could also use the expression to describe something that makes you feel sad or unhappy. For instance, you could say, “Time flies when I’m alone.” Or, “Time flies when we don’t get along.”

Finally, you could use the expression to describe a situation that makes you laugh. For example, you could say, “Time flies when we’re talking.”