As High As a Kite

Meaning of “As High as a Kite”

This phrase “as high as a kite” shows the meanings of too much excitement or thrill. In a few occasions, the phrase also means a person is drunk or under the influence of drugs.

Origin of “As High as a Kite”

The phrase “as high as a kite” originated from the word “high”. The word was used in the sense of intoxication by Thomas May in 1627 when translating Pharsalia by Lucan in the following sentence, “He’s awash with rich dishes and high with wine”. However, The Elyria Courier, an Ohio based newspaper, used this phrase for the first time in its publication of June 1853 as “as high as a kite” but in the sense of hoisting flags. Later, its meanings were tied to the excitement, and since then it is in constant use for great excitement or festivities.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

As High As A Kite In December by Jon Grof

I’m as high as a kite in December
i fly higher than the naked eye can see
if only i didn’t have to fall
in my minds eye i am always as high as a kite
but the reality of december always brings me back to Earth
if not for this milkshake, i think i would die of thirst
if i was to die of thirst, i would not go to heaven
but rather remain in purgatory
like a kite in december

This poem by Jon Grof is a close imitation of E.E. Cummings’ poems having no writing convention followed. However, the poem highlights the title where this phrase has been used. The speaker compares his happiness and excitement using the phrase to express his love for the winter. He may also love December because it starts Christmas celebration. Speaking from a child’s perspective, the speaker loves December because of milkshakes too. Thought kites cannot be flown during winter, and the phrase has been repeated in the poem as imagery for happiness.

Example #2

High as a Kite by Travis Travis

I’m high high high as a kite
I’m high high high as a kite
And I just might try and do it tonight
But only when the time is right

I’m low low low as you go
I’m low though I’ve been here before
If I go any lower you know
I’m gonna tell you that the time is right

I thought today the grey would all go away
That the blue was there so roses were red
But instead the red has gone to his bed
Oh no

I’m high high high as a kite
I’m high high high as a kite
And I just might try and do it tonight
But only when the time is right

Yeah I just might try and do it tonight
But only when the time is right

This song is sung by Travis Travis, a Post-Britpop band of Glasgow. This lyric shows good use of this phrase. Also, the singer expresses excitement and happy through the repetition of “high” and contrasts it with the low times. However, the poet tries to hint that because he is feeling ‘high’ he will do the thing he had perhaps postponed for a long time, without waiting for the right time.

Example #3

Arun by Abu Abraham from The Avrah Stories

“After that day, Arun’s grandfather taught him how to powder the glass and mix it into the glue. He learnt the art of sawing his coated kite string over another’s, the secret of cutting and of fighting. Arun lost many kites in contest, but he kept learning the magic of flying, the art of combat and the secrets of the fighter kites. With his grandfather’s help, he progressed rapidly. By the time the rains were over and the winds that push away clouds and lift kites blew in, Arun was ready. He never looked bac,. That year, Arun won the children’s and the next year the teenagers’ competitions. The championships were great because he could meet those he flew against. By understanding them he understood how they fought. The year after he was overall champion. As Arun’s skill grew, the challengers became fewer. Soon he was flying as high as his kite would go with nobody to threaten him.”

Arun is the story of a kite runner who flies a kite after working very hard to make it the best kite ever. His grandfather helps him in this task. He takes part in the championship in which he starts flying it. He feels he is flying as high as his kite too. This phrase shows his excitement as feels that he is undefeated as he won the championship.

Example #4

Visiting Hours by Emma Donoghue

“An uncle with the reek of whiskey off him, and lots of hearty granddads trying not to hear the gory details, and one who couldn’t stop crying. (‘It makes me feel so feck old,’ he said in my ear.) A toddler in an ‘I’M A BIG BROTHER’ T-shirt who had no idea what was going on; a twelve-year-old who looked like she would put a pillow over the newborn’s head the minute they got home. And dads – don’t get me started. The tight-jawed and the high-as-a-kite, and some who check in with the office while waiting for the epidural to kick in.”

Here the narrator explains how you can find different people in the hospital’s maternity ward. She goes on to mention the situation of a brother, a father, and a toddler when they welcome a newborn. The writer also explains the feelings of a woman who is about to give birth. She used the phrase with hyphens as “high-as-a-kite” to show their excitement.

Examples in Sentences

Example #1: “I am selected to play in the nationals and leave next week. I am as high as a kite.”

Example #2: “Brad had three glass of whiskey and he is as high as a kite. Don’t let him drive tonight.”

Example #3: “Anna was declared the university topper. She felt as high as a kite and gave the good news to her parents.”

Example #4: “You might feel as high as a kite when you are on drugs, the next minute, you will be in the bottom of the pit.”

Example #5: “Congratulations on your promotion. I can see you are as high as a kite for the next role.”