Flew the coop is the simple past tense of the popular expression “Fly the coop”, both of which may be used in several contexts, with varying meanings.
“Flew the coop” may be used to describe someone as missing, absent, having taken an Irish Exit, or even as having escaped from captivity
It may also mean that someone has grown up enough to leave behind the comforts of their maternal home or has unlocked Unlimited Power and is able to leave behind things, people or habits that limited them.
“Flew the coop” comes from the fact that chickens are kept in chicken coops, both for their own safety and for the safety of the farmer’s property.
However, sometimes there are a few courageous cocks and hens in a pen, who attempt to escape – an occurrence, that led to the creation of the colloquialism “Flew the coop”.
It first started appearing in print in the late 19th century, with several novels, reports and publications featuring the phrase by the 1890’s.
Throughout the 20th century, the phrase remained popular both in the United States and in other English-speaking countries, especially with a significant rural population.
Although today most people are unaccustomed to life on a farm with animals, the phrase still retains enough relevance so that most will understand its meaning right away, and even go as far as using it themselves.
“Flew the coop” was first defined on Urban Dictionary on January 6th, 2016.