One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An unlikely chance occurrence, especially a surprising piece of luck.‘their victory was a bit of a fluke’
chance, coincidence, accident, a twist of fateView synonyms
- ‘We would say, in fact, that B's failure to castle was a fluke, bad luck with the random number generator.’
- ‘On the tiny chance it was a fluke, I'm banking on my artistic abilities.’
- ‘Contrary to what Bettman might think, a fluke occurrence can not be used as precedent: after all, a fluke occurrence is by definition rare.’
- ‘If Helena's experience wasn't a fluke, something similar should have happened in other jurisdictions with smoking bans.’
- ‘As it turns out, they're not that great a side and that win was a bit of a fluke, but I think they've got the potential to make the finals - they just need a coach who isn't a bleached blonde surfer dude flake.’
- ‘When we got it last year we felt it was a bit of a fluke but then we turned around and did it two years on the trot.’
- ‘For many of us, success and failure turn on lucky breaks and fluke occurrences - starting most importantly with the accident of birth.’
- ‘Luck, in the sense of a fluke occurrence, had nothing to do with it.’
- ‘Pile said the fire was a fluke occurrence and doesn't indicate a problem with the submarines.’
- ‘The fluke was a bit insipid, but then again this was a test-run: after this first experience, I'm willing to give anything Todd serves a second go.’
- ‘I left that meeting with the shooters confident my experience was simply a fluke, an accident that was so unlikely it never could happen again.’
- ‘There's a huge amount of fluke and chance and accident.’
- ‘It's the only song I scored as low as Switzerland which, through luck, fluke or divine intervention, received precisely the number of points it deserved: a big fat zero.’
- ‘And you'll never know the joy that fans in the rest of the country will experience when the fluke happens and the Yankees lose this year.’
- ‘It was a bit of a fluke but everyone at the club was delighted and so was I.’
- ‘The confidence is brewing in Southern California, and the Bolts are out to prove last year's surprise was less fluke and more the start of a trend.’
- ‘Charlie's condition is a fluke so the chance of any future siblings having it are just one in 50.’
- ‘Some of them, by genetic fluke or bad luck, are not here even by choice, unconscious or no.’
- ‘‘My modeling career was a bit of a fluke,’ she says.’
- ‘As may be imagined, this capture, not so much a fluke as a surprise gave me cause to rethink my fishing plans on the lake.’
Achieve (something) by luck rather than skill.
- ‘Maybe she had done one of them beforehand or maybe she fluked it.’
- ‘In light of how jammy they were across the first 45 minutes yesterday it is a wonder they have never managed even to fluke a Scottish Cup win.’
- ‘For some in his side, Scotland simply fluked a win that condemned their country to only a second defeat in 17 matches.’
- ‘I played very loose in contrast to the rest of the night's play and got ahead quite quickly thanks to fluking four of a kind early on.’
- ‘Maybe you fluked your way through the trials, hmmm?’
- ‘Millwall haven't fluked their way into the final and the Reds could have an off day.’
- ‘Spurs fans will be getting excited now they've fluked a win and there's not a pensioner in sight in the forwards.’
- ‘All of my happiness is therefore underpinned by a nagging sense of under-achievement, of doubt, of feeling that all of this has been fluked rather than earned.’
- ‘It is not like Leeds fluked this win either, in what was an extremely patchy game.’
- ‘Happy accidents exist, but they are extremely rare, and they are almost always fluked by people who aren't professional photographers.’
- ‘I can fire random numbers at you until I fluke it if you want, but that's as good as you're going to get.’
- ‘But Coco sets high standards and so has gone head to paw with the Swinburne Uni computer, which has fluked a score of 97 after Round 18.’
- ‘West Ham gave it both barrels, as they say in cockney crime caper films, but somehow Liverpool fluked another trophy thanks to Steven Gerrard's heroics.’
Mid 19th century (originally a term in games such as billiards denoting a lucky stroke): perhaps a dialect word.
1A parasitic flatworm which typically has suckers and hooks for attachment to the host. Some species are of veterinary or medical importance.
- ‘Primary common bile duct stones are more common in Asian populations because of the increased prevalence of flukes and parasitic infections, such as clonorchiasis, fascioliasis and ascariasis.’
- ‘In Asia the species is known to host parasitic lung flukes, which can infect humans if the crabs are eaten undercooked.’
- ‘This is one of the critical times of the year when action should be taken to treat cattle for the control of fluke and worms.’
- ‘The medically important flatworms are further divided into the flukes and tapeworms (Cestoda).’
- ‘Once infected with flukes, for instance, some species of snails have only a month or so before the parasites castrate them and turn them into food-gathering slaves.’
2North American dialect A flatfish, especially a flounder.
- ‘With flounder, sole, fluke, turbot, halibut, bass, trout, John Dory or orange roughy, we must tread lightly, especially with regard to bitterness.’
- ‘Seafood specialties like halibut, fluke, and grouper and the unique world of micro greens have done much to influence his opinion of American food culture.’
- ‘The fluke, a flatfish similar to flounder, scratched that special itch for me.’
Old English flōc (in fluke (sense 2)), of Germanic origin; related to German flach ‘flat’.
1A broad triangular plate on the arm of an anchor.
- ‘Hanging from the centre of the dome is an anchor shape with red and green lanterns at the end of the anchor flukes.’
- ‘At Zephyros, in 30m of water, the flukes of a sizeable anchor are visible, the chain running along the base of a cliff which rises spectacularly some 10m off the seabed.’
- ‘Having said that, on the seabed to the port side of the bows lies a large iron pendant, perhaps the remains of an anchor with broken flukes.’
- ‘On Vanderlin, rubbish left by Asiatics: a wooden anchor with one fluke, three boat rudders of violet wood, remains of blue cotton trousers.’
2Either of the lobes of a whale's tail.
- ‘Ambulocetus apparently swam much like an otter, with an up-and-down motion of the spine, the precursor to the motion of the flukes of a whale's tail.’
- ‘Ambulocetus is cited as showing that spinal undulation evolved in whales before development of a tail fluke, but that claim was made when only one lumbar and one caudal vertebra were known.’
- ‘Back on the boat and heading to shore, we spotted a spout, a fin and then the flukes of a humpback whale.’
- ‘Similar to the patterns on humpback whale flukes, unique markings on the dolphins' dorsal fins allow for individual identification.’
- ‘The boat team tracks the whales, takes photographs of the humpback's unique tail flukes and snips off small DNA skin samples or biopsies, using special darts.’
- ‘We have six humpback whales who are individually recognisable by their tail flukes.’
- ‘He said the sculpture would depict a whale with its flukes, or tail, raised in the air but could not say what size the sculpture would be.’
- ‘The pectoral fins and flukes of males are also larger than those of females.’
- ‘In addition, a gray whale when diving nearly always shows its tail flukes (fluke-up dive).’
- ‘Whales have streamlike bodies with highly compressed neck vertebrae, dorsal fins, and a tail with two finlike flukes arranged horizontally.’
- ‘This was shown as an animal with a long snaky body, with flippers and smallish flukes on the tail.’
- ‘They also practice bottom feeding and are observed in the lagoons with their immature tail stocks and flukes sticking straight up in the air.’
- ‘The nicks and notches in the fluke and dorsal fin help with identification, and the photos go into a photo ID catalogue which helps determine population size and migration patterns.’
- ‘Many whales are alive today, and they swim by dorsoventral undulation of their tail flukes.’
- ‘And often the tail fluke of a whale or the back fin of a dolphin will show as a dark patch against the paler surface of the sea.’
- ‘He had a ‘not very good’ minke whale steak in a restaurant in Oslo, he ate blue whale in Canada, and bought flakes of bowhead tail flukes in a supermarket in California.’
- ‘Water flowed down the erect tail, or flukes, to give the impression of a whale diving in the sea.’
- ‘Calambokidis' team has photographed and recognized around 1,500 blue whales by tail fluke and back markings.’
- ‘The tail fluke lacks a medial notch and the flippers are small and pointed.’
- ‘Position of control surfaces (ie., flippers, fin, flukes, peduncle) provides a generally stable design with respect to an arrow model.’
Mid 16th century: perhaps from fluke (because of the shape).
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