strike a flint?


How often do you use or hear the phrase ‘to strike a flint’? I’ve just heard it on CNN and it was a new one for me.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEFL listening lectures: Why do Birds of Paradise have amazing plumages?[YSaerTTEW443543]


New to me, too. It must come from that huge country on my left. I do know the expression: Well, strike a light! which is an expression of surprise.


I thought it was hilarious that doing a search for ‘strike a flint’ resulted in this picture on Google’s first page of image results:

What’s the matter, Alan? Haven’t you ever had to start a fire without a match (while camping, for example)? You must have led a very sheltered life. :wink:

Of course, cigarette lighters have flints as well. To me, “strike a flint” is not an ‘expression’ per se, but rather a simple description of an activity. When you strike a flint, a spark can be created, and this spark can start a fire. It seems to me that all three words are pretty common and easy to understand. (The words ‘strike’ and ‘flint’ both appear in the Oxford Dictionary.)

Perhaps you heard someone use the phrase figuratively rather than literally, Torsten. I’d call that “creative” use of the language. It seems to me that Alan has done his share of creative writing, and I don’t know why others shouldn’t be allowed or expected to do it as well – even if they don’t reside in the London area. :wink:

I’m not familiar with the expression “Well, strike a light”. :wink:
The Urban Dictionary claims this is a Cockney expression. Would you agree with that, Alan? … ke+a+light