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    #1

    fly a kite

    Dear teachers,

    Would you tell me whether I am right about my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentences?

    At the beginning Brown had, as he had used to say,” flown a kite” for compromise…. (C. P. Snow, “The Masters”)

    I didn’t now whether any news had reached him, but there was a kite being flown for a new delivery system….(C. P. Snow, “Corridors of Power”)

    fly a kite = see how the land lies

    Thanks for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

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    #2

    Re: fly a kite

    Hi,

    Exactly right. 'See how the land lies' is a good definition.

    Regards

  1. apex2000's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: fly a kite

    Yes, but it is also used to suggest something out of the ordinary or even to throw in something to undermine what is being alluded to.

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    #4

    Re: fly a kite

    Hi apex2000,

    Thank you for your further information.

    He is not a bad one. Only he gets playing cards. – then he’ll fly the kite. (J. Galsworthy, “The Pigeon”)

    fly a kite= try to implement a paper policy

    V.

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    #5

    Re: fly a kite

    Indeed. I missed that one. Mea culpa.

    Rgds

  2. apex2000's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: fly a kite

    I've never come across that in playing cards. There are a number of somewhat devious ways of misleading a card playing opponent, but as it is improper to speak directly about the hand being played then I cannot see its usage in that context.
    I've not read that Galsworthy to my recollection and therefore am not able to comment on his usage but I would expect the style of writing to add to the meaning.
    (by paper policy I assume you are referring to the (old) usage concerning credit)

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    #7

    Re: fly a kite

    paper = fictitious

    a paper blockade
    an accommodation bill
    a marriage in name only

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    #8

    not a teacher

    I have never heard this idiom in America. The only idiomatic use of "fly a kite" I know of is saying "go fly a kite!", which is an aggressive/rude way of telling someone to go away and do something else.

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