I vaguely remember hearing a phrase describing some airline charters that operates for a short period of time. I think it was from the TV show, Wings.


closed as unclear what you're asking by jimm101, Fattie, FumbleFingers, NVZ, curiousdannii Oct 23 '17 at 13:36

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    Do you want this to be disparaging? – Jim Oct 22 '17 at 21:39
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    it's simply unclear if you mean an operation that "fails quickly because it is hopeless", or if you mean one of those trendy new shops that deliberately stays in one particularly location for only a very short period of time. – Fattie Oct 23 '17 at 11:53
  • Do you mean "fly-by-night"? The 2nd definition is "one without established reputation or standing; especially a shaky business enterprise". The term is often used to imply that the business literally closes and vacates overnight, when the owners decide to take the income and flee their debts. – user3685427 Oct 23 '17 at 12:55
  • There is also 'long firm fraud' and 'short firm fraud' - if indeed it is fraud that is in question actionfraud.police.uk/fraud_protection/… – Nigel J Oct 23 '17 at 14:39

Appropriately enough, there is an idiom suitable : fly-by-night. Although it is only one word, it is still classed as an idiom, see below.

fly-by-night :(idiomatic, derogatory) A person or business that appears and disappears rapidly, or gives an impression of transience


Idioms An idiom is a common word or phrase with a culturally understood meaning that differs from what its composite words' denotations would suggest.

  • Just for the record - you said "Although it is only one word, it is still classed as an idiom". It is totally normal for an idiom to be "one word" - you don't have to explain or clarify that. – Fattie Oct 23 '17 at 11:54
  • @Fattie Thanks. I had assumed that idioms were always phrases. – Nigel J Oct 23 '17 at 11:57
  • @Fattie - Particularly since its only technically one word. In reality its 3 words often stuck together with hyphens. – T.E.D. Oct 23 '17 at 13:24

pop-up store

A temporary retail establishment. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop-up_retail:

Pop-up retail, also known as pop-up store (pop-up shop in the UK, Australia and Ireland) or flash retailing, is a trend of opening short-term sales spaces that started in Los Angeles and now pop up all over the United States, Canada,[1][2] China,[3] Japan,[4] Mexico,[5] France,[6] Germany,[7] the United Kingdom and Australia.[8]

Unlike fly-by-night, which has a connotation of illegality, pop-up stores are a legitimate approach to retailing. Pop-ups may be transient, but the word does not suggest that their purpose is to defraud.

Whether temporary airline charters are designed to defraud, I don't know.

  • Pop-up does not seem to convey that it closes as fast as it starts. – Trilarion Oct 23 '17 at 8:45

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