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as the crow flies

in a straight line

TRANSLATION

crow = Krähe as the crow flies = Luftlinie --- GOOGLE INDEX as the crow flies: approximately 2,500,000 Google hits

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

From Manaus, in the Amazon region, to Natal on the east coast is 2,777 kilometres AS THE CROW FLIES, but 5,985 kilometres by road - the same as driving from New York to San Francisco and then down to Phoenix.

BBC News

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Land's End in Cornwall to John O'Groats on the northern tip of Scotland is 603 miles AS THE CROW FLIES - assuming the crow is stupid enough to make the journey - or 874 miles by road.

The Sun

Did you
know?

as the crow flies
idiom

- measured in a straight line

(Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms)

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This expression refers to the ability of crows to fly from point A to point B in a straight line without having to go around curves or over mountains and hills like the rest of us when we drive our cars.

Why the crow was selected for this phrase is unclear. Crows typically fly around in circles looking for food, unlike migratory birds that generally fly the shortest route.

Crows are often unfairly associated with negative qualities. For instance, an assembly of crows is called a "murder." This is based on the myth that a flock of crows will kill one of their own who is behaving badly. This likely stemmed from the fact that they will kill a dying crow who doesn't belong in their territory or that they will feed on the carcasses of dead cattle.

In another idiom, a person is said to "eat crow" if they have to admit they were wrong about something.

To top it off, in Alfred Hitchcock's classic "The Birds", hundreds of crows start attacking people in a small town, even children! This didn't do much to help their nasty reputation either.

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SYNONYMS

a beeline, linear distance

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PRACTICE OWAD TODAY

"AS THE CROW FLIES, our production plant is only 5 miles from here."


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