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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

SPEED and RAPIDITY, page 1

from:   'at the drop of a hat'   to:  'in two shakes of a lamb's tail'

  • at the drop of a hat
    • If you do somethingat the drop of a hat, you do it quickly and immediately, without hesitation.
      "I've got great friends. They're ready to help out at the drop of a hat."

  • at/in one fell swoop
    • If something is accomplished at (or in) one fell swoop, it is done in a single action, usually rapidly and ruthlessly.
      "The three houses were demolished at one fell swoop."

  • beat to the draw
    • If you beat someone to the draw, you react more quickly and manage to do something before they do.
      "Ross was determined to be the first to arrive. He managed to beat the others to the draw."

  • before the ink is dry
    • If people reach an agreement, and then change their minds immediately afterwards, the change occurs 'before the ink is dry'.
      "Be careful if you do business with that man. He's capable of changing his mind before the ink is dry!"

  • before you know it / before you know where you are
    • If something takes place so rapidly that you don't have time to become aware of it, it happens before you know it or before you know where you are.
      "The doorbell rang, and before we knew it a surprise birthday party was under way!"

  • fast and furious
    • If an activity is fast and furious, it is done quickly and with a lot of energy.
      "Eager to win the race, the competitors came fast and furious around the bend."

  • fast talker
    • A person who speaks quickly and easily but cannot always be trusted is called a fast talker.
      "The salesman was a fast talker who persuaded the old lady to buy a new washing machine."

  • get a move on
    • If you advise someone to get a move on, you are telling them to hurry up.
      "You'd better get a move on or you'll miss the bus!"

  • get your skates on
    • If you tell someone to get their skates on, you are urging them to do something more quickly..
      "You'd better get your skates on or you'll be late for the meeting!"

  • go hell for leather
    • If you go hell for leather, you go somewhere or do something very fast.
      "I saw Tom going hell for leather towards the station."

  • in the blink of an eye
    • If something happens in the blink of an eye, it happens so fast or instantaneously that you have hardly enough time to notice it.
      "The pickpocket disappeared in the blink of an eye."

  • in/by leaps and bounds
    • If you do something in leaps and bounds, you make rapid or spectacular progress or growth.
      "The number of subscribers to the newsletter has grown in leaps and bounds."

  • in the twinkling of an eye
    • Something that happens in the twinkling of an eye happens very fast or instantaneously.
      "Public opinion can change in the twinkling of an eye."

  • in two shakes (of a lamb's tail)
    • To do something in two shakes of a lamb's tail means to do it very quickly.
      "Wait for me. I'll be ready in two shakes (of a lamb's tail)."

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