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run something up the flagpole

Slang definitions & phrases for run something up the flagpole

run something up the flagpole

verb phrase

(Variation: and see if anybody salutes may be added) To test the reaction to; to try out an idea, concept, etc: Television runs these vapidities up the flagpole and we salute as though we had been programmed to do so

[1960s+; an expression attributed to the Madison Avenue advertising milieu, along with others like ''Put it on a train and see if it gets off at Westport'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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