I found the word, “skyfall” being used in the article of April 18 Nikkei.com. under the title, “What the collapse of the gold bubble tells” with the following lead copy

“International commodity market represented by gold collapsed on April 15th. The collapse was triggered by the dropdown of the economic growth rates of China which turned out far below the economists’ expectation. The “Skyfall” broke out in the gold market may foretell the economic boom of new developing countries is coming to a turning point.

The word “skyfall” is used in English in Japanese text as if it is a stock market jargon. There is a Japanese word “杞憂-kiyu” – worring about the fall of the sky,” which we borrowed from Chinese proverb, “杞人憂天-Qi ren you tian” that derived from the ancient story of the people of the Qi country very much worried about if the sky should fall on their heads suddenly.

I checked if the “skyfall” is English word or not with CED, OED, Merriam-Webster English Dictionary to find none of them carries this word, nor does Google Ngram register it.

Is “skyfall” used as an English word other than James Bond “007 Skyfall” and its theme music? If it is, can the word, “the sky falls” be associated with anything like a panic or catastrophe as used in the Nikkei article among Anglophones?

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    Certainly these authors think that there is such a word, yes.
    – tchrist
    Apr 19, 2013 at 0:39
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    'Google Define:' tells that 'skyfall' has Swedish roots. and google translator translates it as a Swedish word meaning downpour. if that helps!
    – camelbrush
    Apr 19, 2013 at 1:05
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    I'd understood that the word was related to the phrase "[Fiat justitia ruat caelum][1]", which roughly means to let justice be done whatever the consequences may be ("... though the heavens/sky fall"). [1]: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_justitia_ruat_caelum Apr 19, 2013 at 8:43
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    Tangentially, other places/cultures have fables similar to the one you mention - see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_little (which you'll notice does not lead to a page titled 'Chicken Little'). From the 'Chicken Little' version, the phrase "The sky is falling" has beome an idiom, probably for similar contexts as kiyu. On topic, I would say 'skyfall' is either not a word, or is a very rare one.
    – hunter2
    Apr 26, 2013 at 11:41

3 Answers 3


The word skyfall is not normally used, except as the title of various works of fiction; it is not a regular noun.

However, the general idea that we would all be in severe trouble if the sky should fall down is widespread and immediately recognised throughout the Western world, including Anglo-Saxon countries. I would expect it to be known in most other cultures too. In Classical Antiquity, it was already commonly referred to, cf. Terence and Aesop.

Note also that the quotation you gave contains a few grammar mistakes:

[The] international commodity market[, as] represented by gold[,] collapsed on April 15th. The collapse was triggered by [lower] economic growth [in] China[,] which turned out far below the economists’ expectation. The “Skyfall” [that] broke out in the gold market may [indicate that] the economic boom of new developing countries is coming to a turning point. {Or "has reached a turning point"?}

  • The quoted sentence is my poor translation. Could you correct grammatical mistakes you noticed? Apr 19, 2013 at 3:17
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    @YoichiOishi: Ah! Translating is hard, I always make more mistakes in translations. I have added a few corrections, but I'm not sure about all of them, because context is always important. Apr 19, 2013 at 4:47
  • Thanks a lot for your correction. The use of definite article – to judge where to place or not to place it - is really a headache for me as we don’t have articles in our language system. I used “represented by” in the meaning of “led by” the price of gold” or “with gold as its major player” in the translation of the quote. Apr 19, 2013 at 7:09
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    @YoichiOishi: The use of the definite article / of definite articles is indeed complicated. Perhaps your safest bet is to always use an article with singular nouns, unless you know it is an exception: better too many articles than not enough, I would say. // Then your represented by is correct! I was just surprised that the international commodity market should be represented by gold. Oh, and I would probably say The...commodity market, as represented by gold, collapsed. Apr 19, 2013 at 14:34
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    @Yoichi: What I meant was this: use a(n) or the depending on the situation. I know, then you still have to choose between those two. That choice isn't always easy, and there are many idiomatic expressions; but the default rule is, use the when you are talking about a specific instance of a thing/person that has already been mentioned or that the reader already knows to be the topic of your text; otherwise, use a(n). This rule also applies to plural nouns, except that you use <no article> instead of a(n) (since a(n) is singular only). Now if only there weren't so many exceptions... Apr 21, 2013 at 0:46

Skyfall is used in the game League of Legends: It is the name of the ultimate move in the Spartan-like warrior Pantheon's ultimate attack, Grand Skyfall. This ability allows him to jump into the air a huge distance and land elsewhere (think The Incredible Hulk), effectively teleporting while dealing damage on impact in game terms. It can be used to strike the ground and enemies as a combat manuever, or for more devious strategies.

Of course, no further explanation or context is given, other than that the character does, in fact, fall from the sky.

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    How is this relevant to the original post?
    – camelbrush
    Apr 19, 2013 at 4:51
  • @camelbrush The OP asked, "Is “skyfall” used as an English word other than James Bond “007 Skyfall” and its theme music?" This is directly answering this question. Apr 19, 2013 at 4:52
  • My bad. I neglected the obvious hidden 'also' in your reply. +1 to your ans for providing an English example where the word is used.
    – camelbrush
    Apr 19, 2013 at 16:00

I found this meaning of the word 'skyfall':

Skyfall Verb; Transitive To make a last stand against a group of people when outnumbered and on your own turf. "The best part of Home Alone is when Macaulay Culkin skyfalled those burglars." or "In Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet, when Ferrier's house is surrounded, I wish he would have skyfalled those guys instead of running away."

URL: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Skyfall

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    And how would that work in the sentence he supplies? That gold will wipe out its enemies? That clearly is not the meaning here.
    – virmaior
    Feb 20, 2014 at 18:50
  • I clearly did not see the movie. 0.0 But I could assume that the hero in the movie had his own enemies?!.. I could find that it does suit in that sense.. :)
    – user66552
    May 25, 2014 at 20:10

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