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flash mob

noun; analogy
A group of people who meet at a previously-designated space, perform some brief action (often out of the ordinary) as a group, and then quickly disperse.
 
Most commonly used for a group of strangers who share a desire to do something out of the ordinary and surprising to others, and in some cases includes groups which meet for extended periods of time.
Etymology : Derived from the words 'flash', from Middle English 'flashen', meaning 'to splash', and 'mob', from Latin 'mobile vulgus', meaning 'fickle crowd'. The derivation is likely due to the analogy between a quick flash of light or fire and the sudden, unexpected appearance of a mob of similarly-acting people.
Source : 'Look at this! There was a flash mob that went to UT dressed in either black or white, and they lined up according to color, then pretended to fight to the death before running away.' - A friend, in reference to pictures seen on a flash mob Facebook group page, April 2008
Last modified: 1 December 2008


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