|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 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’.|
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.
|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).
|like a bat out of hell||If something moves like a bat out of hell, it moves very quickly.|
He grabbed the envelope and ran like a bat out of hell.
|like greased lightning||If something moves like greased lightning, it moves extremely fast.|
As soon as the owner appeared, the boy ran like greased lightning.
|like a shot||If you do something like a shot, you do it very quickly, without any hesitation.|
If I won a lot of money on the lotto, I’d leave my job like a shot!
|like wildfire||If something such as news, rumours or gossip spreads like wildfire, it becomes widely known very fast.|
As soon as the nomination was announced, the news spread like wildfire.
|make it snappy||If someone tells you to make it snappy, they are asking you very sharply to hurry up or be quick about something.|
Fetch me a bandage and make it snappy!
|nineteen to the dozen||Someone who talks nineteen to the dozen speaks very quickly.|
He was talking nineteen to the dozen so I didn’t catch the whole story.
|put the pedal to the metal||When you put the pedal to the metal, you accelerate or make something go faster.|
If we put the pedal to the metal we could get this finished in time.
|quick as a dog can lick a dish||If you do something surprisingly fast, you do it as quick as a dog can lick a dish.|
He packed his bag as quick as a dog can lick a dish.
|race against time||When someone is in a race against time, they have to work very quickly in order to do or finish something before a certain time.|
It was a race against time to get everything ready for the inauguration.
|snail’s pace||If something moves at a snail’s pace, it moves very slowly.|
The old man was driving along the road at a snail’s pace.
|snap decision||A quick decision based on an impulse, without taking time to weigh the consequences, is called a snap decision.|
Completely overworked, he suddenly turned off his computer and made a snap decision to go swimming.
|step on the gas||If someone tells you to step on the gas, they are encouraging you to accelerate or hurry up in order to get something done quickly.|
We’d better step on the gas and get these figures printed. The meeting starts in half an hour.
|throw something together||If you throw something together, you make or produce something quickly and without effort.|
Why don’t you stay for dinner – I’ll throw something together!