Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Fly (plural flys).

 Flutter the Devecotes (To).Fly (plural flies). 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Fly (plural flys).
A hackney coach, a cab. A contraction of Fly-by-night, as sedan chairs on wheels used to be called in the regency. These “Fly-by-nights,” patronised greatly by George, Prince of Wales, and his boon companions, during their wild night pranks at Brighton, were invented 1809 by John Butcher, a carpenter of Jew Street.   1
        “In the morning we took a fly, an English term for an exceedingly sluggish vehicle, and drove up to the Minister’s.”—Hawthorne: Our Old House (Pilgrimage to Old Boston, p. 171).

 Flutter the Devecotes (To).Fly (plural flies). 


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