You may have heard the term ‘one fell swoop’ being used in a conversation. But what is the meaning of this phrase and where did it first come from? We are going to answer both of these questions as well as looking at how this term can be used in a conversation.
One Fell Swoop
“One Fell Swoop” Meaning
The meaning of the idiom ‘one fell swoop’ is to do something all at once or all in one go.
Origin of the idiomatic phrase
The term swoop refers to the action of a bird doing a swooping motion in order to catch its prey which is a comparison to someone swooping in to complete something all at once.
“One Fell Swoop” Examples
Examples in Statements
This is a statement being made by someone in the workplace.
- ‘I am going home early since I did all those jobs in one fell swoop.’
Here is a statement being made by an MP.
- ‘I cannot make all the changes in one fell swoop but I will try my very best.’
- The white bilge number is broken at one fell swoop.
- The tornado destroyed the whole city at one fell swoop.
- Only a foolish politician would promise to lower the rate of inflation and reduce unemployment at one fell swoop.
If you are wondering how the saying ‘one fell swoop’ can be used in day to day conversation, here are some examples to show how it would sound.
The first conversation is happening between two friends.
- Person 1: “I have so much to do before we go to the party tonight.”
- Person 2: “Do you need me to help?”
- Person 1: “Yes, with two of us we might get it all done in one fell swoop.”
This next conversation is taking place between some people in a factory.
- Person 1: “What products do we have left to make?”
- Person 2: “The chocolate eggs and the chocolate frogs.”
- Person 1: “If we use two machines we will get them both done in one fell swoop.”
Other Ways to Say “One Fell Swoop”
There are many other ways in which you can express the meaning of the term ‘one fell swoop.’
Here are some examples of other things that you can say which mean the same thing.
- All in one go
- In a single shot
- With one blow
- One shot
- Same time
One Fell Swoop Meaning | Picture