English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Speed - Rapidity
|at the drop of a hat||
If you do something
at 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 one fell swoop||
If something is accomplished at (or
in) one fell swoop, it is done in a
single action, usually rapidly and
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
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'.
You can never tell when he's serious. 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 someone tells you to get a move
on, they are asking you to hurry up.
You'd better get a move on or you'll miss the bus!
|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.
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