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1. to turn the pages of a book or magazine without really reading anything – just having a quick look at the pages
2. To change channels on the TV, looking through the channels to find something to watch.
“I was flicking through the newspaper when I saw a picture of you! ”
“I’ve been flicking through the channels, and there is nothing on. Let’s just go to bed.”

Hi everyone.

It’s Luke here, and today’s phrasal verb is TO FLICK THROUGH.



FLICK – “F”-“L”-“I”-“C”-“K”


Now, this has got two meanings really.

The first one means to turn the pages of a book or a magazine or a newspaper, kind of, quickly, and just look at some pages for a very short time. So it just means, when you’re kind of bored or distracted. You just pick up a magazine and you just (…) sort of FLICK THOUGH the pages, you know?

For some reason I always do this when I go to a doctor’s surgery. I go to the waiting room, and sit down, and I just think:

– “Well, here I am at the doctor’s, in a waiting room. I think, I’ll just FLICK THROUGH this magazine for a while”

even though, whenever I do, like pick up a magazine in a doctor’s surgery, in a waiting room, I’m never actually able to read any article properly, because basically all I can do is just FLICK THROUGH a magazine and try not to think about how sick I am.


So, you know what I mean… It always happens in a doctor’s waiting room. I pick up a magazine even though you probably shouldn’t touch anything, because it’s likely to be infected, but nevertheless you pick up this magazine which, you know, almost everyone else has touched who’s gone through this waiting room. You pick it up and you just decide to FLICK THOUGH the pages.

Don’t lick you finger!

You know, some people do that? They kinda lick their finger before they FLICK THROUGH in order to kinda get extra grip on the pages.

I wouldn’t do that. No!

In fact, just leave the magazine alone. Don’t FLICK THROUGH it. Just sit there, and just stay calm, and wait.

I mean, it is a waiting room after all. That’s what you’re supposed to be doing.

Just wait there!

Alright. The other meaning TO FLICK THROUGH the channels of your TV.

You know, you just sit down in front of TV, and you don’t know what’s on, and you think:

– “I’ll just FLICK THROUGH the channels until I find something good.”

…and generally, it goes like this:

(flick) advert
(flick) advert
(flick) advert
(flick) crap
(flick) crap
(flick) crap
(flick) advert
(flick) advert
(flick) crap advert
(flick) crap
(flick) crap
(flick) advert
(flick) crap
(flick) – “OH! Doctor who! Wahey!”

That’s it.

There will be another one of these tomorrow.

But for now, it’s goodbye!

  • Alier

    When I was visiting my friend who had been admitted in hospital I found visitors in his room so I waited flicked through newspapers.

    When I reached home from work, I rested for while and flicked through channels until I found a great film I have ever seen.

  • irina

    Just imagine – the life is not so long to flick its pages through. It seems to me that we do it with our life – not magazines and TV channels – just flicking our life through/ Sorry for this sad comment

  • Denis Paraschuk

    Yesterday I visited the hairdresser. While I was waiting for my turn, I flicked through the magazine about cars.

    Another one was yesterday as well, 29-MAR-2016. I was flicking through the channels until I found football match: England – Netherlands (international friendly). Just FYI: 1-2 – Netherlands won.

  • _ Let me flick through that magazine while I wait for the barber to finish with him
    _ I was about to sleep when I decided to flick through the channels and I found my favorite program on. The next day I was drowsy and almost overslept to go to my job for watching it until late XD

  • María José

    Can I borrow this magazine? I just fancy flicking through the pages of it.

    Let´s flick through the channels to see if we find something interesting.

  • Ksenia

    I usually flick through the magazines at hairdresser’s. Although the magazines can be outdated or it can be some sort of free magazine with only crap adverts in it, I invariably pick it up and flick through it.