One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A flare fired into the air from a pistol for signalling or for temporary illumination.
warning fire, warning light, signal fire, signal light, bonfire, smoke signal, beam, signal, danger signal, guiding lightView synonyms
- ‘It resembled a Very light (flare in the USA - J.T.) used as a distress signal by Royal Air.’
- ‘I looked round and in the clear blue the Very lights and tracer bullets were shooting up into the sky.’
- ‘Suddenly a Very light went up, then another and another.’
- ‘The moon was at their back, and the enemy used mortar-fire, Very lights and fire-bombs, setting the corn alight.’
Early 20th century: named after Edward W. Very (1847–1910), American naval officer.
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