lord of the flies

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Calque of Biblical Hebrew בַּעַל זְבוּב(baʿal zəḇûḇ, fly-lord, Beelzebub), which in turn is a mistranslation of the name of the Semitic devil Baal-zevuv.

PronunciationEdit

  • (file)

NounEdit

lord of the flies

  1. Beelzebub; Satan
  2. (idiomatic, biblical) a ruler over a worthless kingdom; leader of a meaningless microcosm.

Usage notesEdit

The phrase can also be used as an adjective to describe a situation where there is no government and crime is common. This usage is a reference to the book Lord of the Flies and is usually capitalized.