before you can say Jack Robinson

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before you can say Jack Robinson

 and quicker than you can say Jack Robinson
Fig. almost immediately. (Often found in children's stories.) And before you could say Jack Robinson, the bird flew away. I'll catch a plane and be there quicker than you can say Jack Robinson.
See also: before, can, jack, Robinson, say

before you can say Jack Robinson

Also, quicker than you can say Jack Robinson. Almost immediately, very soon, as in I'll finish this book before you can say Jack Robinson. This expression originated in the 1700s, but the identity of Jack Robinson has been lost. Grose's Classical Dictionary (1785) said he was a man who paid such brief visits to acquaintances that there was scarcely time to announce his arrival before he had departed, but it gives no further documentation. A newer version is before you know it, meaning so soon that you don't have time to become aware of it (as in He'll be gone before you know it).
See also: before, can, jack, Robinson, say
References in periodicals archive ?
He excelled in a loan period in the Championship earlier this season and he possesses the quality we need to cover for the unfortunate loss of Jack Robinson to injury.
Decorate a Xmas Tree - Elain Jones & Ceridwen Edwards, Uwchaled; Tractor driving - Jack Robinson & Hari Kynaston, Uwchaled; Fferm Factor - Sam Jones & Elwy Lloyd, Ruthin.
As the half closed, Nikola Zigic was clambered on by Kaspars Gorkss and Jack Robinson, forcing him over.
Wolverhampton Wanderers are close to completing the loan signing of Liverpool defender Jack Robinson as manager Dean Saunders attempts to bolster his squad for a relegation dog fight.
Why does Jack Robinson keep spitting his dummy out?
ELEVEN-year-old Jack Robinson landed a new club record pollock during Longbenton and Seaton Burn's match on Tynemouth pier.
3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sheraton New Orleans announces the launch of an exclusive exhibit of original photographs of 1950s New Orleans by world-famous Jack Robinson.
two great grandchildren, Emma and Jack Robinson of Vancouver, B.
JACK ROBINSON is ready to put his injury woes behind him and stake a claim for the left-back spot at Liverpool.
But one of them is that if you dial 999 and ask for the Fire Brigade, they will be there before you can say Jack Robinson.
Other players who took part in the 2005 ranking who received presentation cups were Nicholas Greenwood (9), Jack Robinson (6), Jonathon Greenwood (11), Ross Lillie (9), Michael Nunn (14), Cameron Hill (9), Jonathon Packer (12), Scott Thompson (14), Daniel Robinson (12), Nicholas Elkin (13), Brandon James (6), Jonathon Jones (8) and Connar Martin (14).
Against Notts, Warwickshire started well with No 5, Jack Robinson, fending off a strong attack from Andrew Smith to win 3-1.
Winslow portfolio manager Jack Robinson believes "that every company has the potential to be a green company"--an outlook shared by other funds, including the recently launched Sierra Club Funds.
Gidney, of Jack Robinson (Trawlers) Ltd, appeared alongside Ranger skipper Douglas White, 43, who faces a charge of illegally trawling over the wreck of the Harvester [ETH] which carries a maximum two-year sentence.
We're introduced to Jack Robinson (Matthew Modine), a fabulously wealthy mogul whose latest project - a casino in England - is halted when a bizarre skeleton is discovered beneath the designated site.