I haven’t posted here for the last few weeks and I’ve been pretty absent on social media too. (It’s ok if you didn’t notice!) That’s because I was on vacation! However, to the outside world, it might have looked like I fell off the face of the Earth. When you say this about someone, you imply that you haven’t seen or heard from them in a long time. They have, essentially, disappeared, or they are not making contact. It sounds pretty extreme, I know, but that’s the fun of it!
Why do we say the face of the Earth? This is not your eyes-nose-mouth face, but the face that means surface. If you fall off the face of the Earth, you can imagine falling off a cliff like this one in Ireland:
This expression seems to imply that the Earth is flat and that we’ve fallen off the edge, never to be heard from again.
Here are some other expressions with the face of the Earth:
She’s the nicest person on the face of the Earth. (~in the world)
He dropped off/disappeared off the face of the Earth. (~completely disappeared)
The virus was wiped off the face of the Earth. (~was eradicated)