flak vs flack : Common Errors in English

About flak vs flack

“Flak” is WW II airman’s slang for shells being fired at you in the air, so to catch a lot of flak is to feel in danger of being shot down. However, most civilians these days have never heard of “flak,” so they use “flack” instead, which originally meant “salesman” or “huckster.” You need to worry about this only if you’re among old-time veterans.You’re more likely to embarrass yourself if you mix up the expression “catch a lot of flak” with “give a lot of slack,” which has almost the opposite meaning. You can’t catch slack.

flak Meaning(s)

  • (n) a slick spokesperson who can turn any criticism to the advantage of their employer
  • (n) intense adverse criticism
  • (n) artillery designed to shoot upward at airplanes

flack Meaning(s)

  • (n) a slick spokesperson who can turn any criticism to the advantage of their employer
  • (n) intense adverse criticism
  • (n) artillery designed to shoot upward at airplanes

flak in News

  1. Houston sees 29% drop in homeless since 2011

    HOUSTON, TX – Houston gets a lot of flak for its treatment of the homeless. But someone must be doing something right. New numbers are in, and there’s been a 29% drop in homelessness in the city since 2011. That …
    on June 13, 2013 Source: CW39 NewsFix

  2. Angels' Peter Bourjos won't get in middle of controversy

    Peter Bourjos, fresh off the DL, returns to his usual position, center field, forcing Mike Trout back to left field. Manager Mike Scioscia has taken flak for that. BALTIMORE — Peter Bourjos didn't get caught up in the controversy surrounding Manager Mike Scioscia's decision to move Mike Trout from center field to left field when Bourjos, out since April 30 because of a left hamstring strain, was ...
    on June 11, 2013 Source: Los Angeles Times

  3. Africa in slow motion on two little wheels

    By Agnieszka Flak JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - It sounded like a shotgun: bang, bang, bang. The back wheel swirled in a slalom and my Vespa scooter came to an abrupt stop. Not even halfway through my two-wheeled trip across parts of Africa and the back tire burst. I steered away from the traffic that trailed behind me on this pothole-littered mountain pass, just as a truck gently nudged my back ...
    on June 10, 2013 Source: Reuters via Yahoo! News

flack in News

  1. Korean baseball player calls African-American pitcher too black

    At best, South Korean first baseman Kim Tae Kyun is just dumb. At worst, he's flat-out racist. The Hanwa Eagles slugger is drawing heavy flack for some cringe-inducing comments about fellow Korea Baseball Organization player Shane Youman, an American pitcher who starts for the Lotte Giants. Oh, and one more thing about Youman: he's black. That, according to Kim, makes him especially difficult to ...
    on June 14, 2013 Source: The Mercury

  2. This Day in Black History: June 12, 1971

    Roberta Flack's "You've Got a Friend" hit the charts.
    on June 12, 2013 Source: BET.com

  3. ‘Magic Magic’ Trailer: Michael Cera Drives Juno Temple Nuts

    Since breaking out on Arrested Development a decade ago, Michael Cera has gotten a lot of flack for his tendency to stick to the George-Michael Bluth type — awkward, timid, but fundamentally sweet. But just as George-Michael has matured into a more confident, independent young man in the new fourth season of the series, Cera’s [...]
    on June 11, 2013 Source: /Film

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