I just moved to the US and like a tv program on HGTV channel called Flip or Flop. I have no idea what this phrase means? Could somebody offer an explanation?

1 Answer 1


In the US, there is a thriving industry which involves buying distressed properties and re-selling them for a profit before the first mortgage payment comes due - it is called "flipping houses". "Flop" means failure (in this context). So, the title means: Will the objective of "flipping" the property be successful, or not?

"Flip-flop" is an expression meaning: to change one's point of view on an issue. It is also the name of a certain gymnastic trick. The name of the program is playing with this expression.

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    And it’s also a type of sandal. All these meanings come from the basic sense of the verb flip-flop, which is a reduplication of flop, originally just a variant of flap, so it’s something that flaps about, makes a flapping noise, etc. Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 18:54
  • There's a Wikipedia article on flipping. I can't see any claim about the origin of this meaning of "flip" but it's almost certainly related to the idea of getting rid of something quickly or rapidly changing its direction.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Apr 10 at 16:29

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