Pass with flying colours

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Pass with flying colours : Phrases


To exceed expectations, to do better than expected.


The B.C. motor vehicle test is tough, but my car
passed with flying colours.


Colour(s) has numerous meanings. An early use of the word is flag, pennant, or badge.

Passed with flying colours comes from sailing ships that, when passing other ships at sea, would fly their colours (flags) if they wanted to be identified.

Alternative: A metaphor drawn from parades, which do not merely pass, but rather do so with flags raised,
with flying colours.

Related Phrase :
Show Your True Colours
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