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Expressions that include “on the flip side” — see you on the flip side, catch you on the flip side, variants like catch you on the flippity flip — are common among English speakers. They are generally taken as a casual parting greeting, meaning “see you later” or “we’ll cross paths again soon.”

Even so, these phrases can baffle native and non-native speakers alike. What’s the origin of “on the flip side” exactly? And what are the best practices for using it?

The flip side of what?

As many sources cite, “see you on the flip side” or “catch you on the flip side” was popularized by disk jockeys in the early days of radio. Unlike the digital catalogues and playlists of today, these DJs would be playing 45 rpm singles with one song on the A-side and one on the B-side. To keep listeners tuned in, they would (and still do) frequently promote whatever music was coming up next. Once they had played the A-side of a record, they would turn the vinyl disk over to its flip side — and thus, the expression was born.

How do I use it?

On the off chance you’re not a DJ, you can still use these phrases. It’s just a matter of learning the right context.

The phrase implies that you will, or intend to, see the person you’re speaking to again shortly. This depends on the situation — “shortly” could mean a few hours, a day, a week — so that’s up to you to interpret. It’s even a good way to end Zoom calls.

Here are some examples to take with you

I have to take this call, I’ll see you on the flip side.
Okay, I’ve finished up for the day. I’m signing off. See you on the flip side.
Thanks for the great monthly meeting, everyone. Catch you all on the flip side.

Example of using “see you on the flip side” idiom

Soul Surfer (2011)
I Love You, Man (2009)
Apollo 13 (1995)
Idioms & expressionsEnglish

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