|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.
||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!
||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.
||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.
||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!