Have you ever heard someone use the term ‘flying by the seat of my pants’ in a conversation and wondered what it means? We are going to look into the meaning of this saying and where it came from in the first place. We are also going to find out how we can use the saying in our conversations.
Flying by the Seat of My Pants
Flying by the Seat of My Pants Meaning
The meaning of the phrase ‘flying by the seat of my pants’ is to do something by intuition and judgement rather than by the proper methods.
Origin of this idiomatic phrase
The idiom ‘flying by the seat of my pants’ comes from an aviation background. It was first used in the mid 20th century by pilots when they were flying planes without the proper equipment and had to use their instinct rather than their knowledge.
“Flying by the Seat of My Pants” Examples
Examples in Statements
A statement made by someone to show that they are not sure how to operate something that they are using.
- ‘This is the first time that I am using this new computer software, no-one has shown me how to use it so I’m just flying by the seat of my pants.’
This statement shows someone explaining that another person is not fully trained to do a certain job.
- ‘Aaron cannot operate the machinery as he has not been trained to do so, he would just be flying by the seat of his pants.’
If you are curious to know how the term ‘flying by the seat of my pants’ can be used in a conversation, here are some examples of how it might look and sound.
This conversation shows a person explaining that they do not fully know how to explain the instructions of a task.
- Person 1: “Can you show me how to drive this vehicle please?”
- Person 2: “No I don’t really know how to drive it myself.”
- Person 1: “So how have you been doing it?”
- Person 2: “I’ve just been flying by the seat of my pants in all honesty.”
This example shows two people discussing how a person is not certain of what they are doing.
- Person 1: “Does Mark know what he is doing over there?”
- Person 2: “I don’t think so, he’s just flying by the seat of his pants until someone shows him what you do.”
Other Ways to Say the Phrase
There are many way to show the same meaning as the term ‘flying by the seat of my pants.’ Here are a few examples of things you could say which carry the same meaning.
Flying by the Seat of My Pants | Image