back-of-the-envelope calculation

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back-of-the-envelope calculation

A calculation or mathematical formulation that is approximated in a quick, informal, and rough manner, as might be sketched out on a scrap of paper (such as the back of an envelope). When it came time to pay the bill, we had to do some back-of-the-envelope calculations to figure out who owed how much.
References in classic literature ?
I wrote 'em on the back of the envelope of my aunt's last letter," he said, and pulled it from between the pages of Sappho.
Mr Hinde urged people to post their votes by Tuesday, May 1, and to follow the instructions about signing the back of the envelope and putting their date of birth.
The only other copy is the Boston return address on the back of the envelope.
Make sure the address on the back of the envelope shows through the window.
Placing these labels on the front and back of the envelope and including the required postage will get you the two- to three-day delivery you desire.
Mr Hinde urged people to help by posting their votes by Tuesday at the latest, and by clearly following the instructions about signing the back of the envelope and putting their date of birth.
The back of the envelope presents no fewer than 22 testimonials of various lengths--surrounding the headline, For 9 years, our readers have delighted us with unsolicited testimonials.
With revenues of more than $28 billion, even the crudest back of the envelope calculation shows that the potential loss in revenue as a result of piracy to an organisation like Microsoft runs into billions of dollars.
This is not the time to be 'working off the back of the envelope,'" noted Daniels.