Idiom | Go Down In Flames

Idiom | Go Down In Flames

Idiom | To Go Down In Flames

The idiom to ‘go down in flames’ most likely originated during World War II, when it was common to see aircraft being shot down over Europe and the UK. While that is the belief, it is actually unclear where or when the phrase originated.

The idiom means for someone or something to fail. Not just fail, but to to fail spectacularly and often with some spectacle.

「go down in flames」というイディオムは、第二次世界大戦中、ヨーロッパとイギリスの上空で航空機が撃墜されるのをよく目にしたことにおそらくは由来するのではと考えられているものの、実は、このフレーズがいつどこで生まれたかは不透明です。


Idiom Usage 使い方

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Idiom: Go Down In Flames
Battle Scene; An Airplane Going Down With Fiery Background (

To “go down in flames” is almost a full phrase, but it needs a little help getting there. To make the idiom complete, we only need to add a subject.

Subject + Idiom

He + went down in flames.

Like most phrasal verbs and idioms, the verb will change form depending on the grammar tense

(go —–>went, going, etc.).

The idiom can be used for casual and formal situations.

To “go down in flames” はほぼ完全なフレーズですが、少し手を加える必要があります。このイディオムを完成させるには、主語を加えるだけで大丈夫です。

主語 + イディオム

He + went down in flames.

ほとんどの句動詞やイディオムのように、時制によって動詞の形が変わります(go —–>went, goingなど)。


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Examples 例文

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Idiom: Go Down In Flames
Russian Ruble Coins Burning (

The Russian ruble has gone down in flames this year.


I went down in flames last night trying to talk to women in the bar.


If you want to be successful then you have to risk possibly going down in flames.


You will go down in flames if you try screwing with me!


Use mnemonic! ニーモニックテクニック

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Idiom: Go Down In Flames
The Hindenburg Going Down In a Blaze of Fire On May 6, 1937

A great mnemonic device to help you remember ‘go down in flames’ is to imagine Hindenburg going down on fire.

Of course, we always encourage you to create your own mnemonic device. It’s much more effect if you do that.

Check out our post on mnemonics basics to learn more.

「go down in flames」を思い出すのに最適なニーモニックは、ヒンデンブルクが炎上して墜落していく様子をイメージしてみるとよいかもしれません。



Variations 類似した表現

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Idiom: Go Down In Flames
A Military Helicopter Shrouded in Fire (Photo: Nir Ben-Yosef)
  • To be shot down in flames
  • Crash and burn

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