To Pass with Flying Colours (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "To Pass with Flying Colours"?

To pass with flying colours means to pass with distinction. This term has a nautical history. It derives from when ships would return home with their "colours" (another word for flags) flying to show they had been victorious.

Previous and Next Sayings

Test Your Knowledge of English Proverbs and Idioms

Ready for the Test?

More Proverbs, Sayings, and Idioms

Next lesson >

See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs

Page URL