Robinson


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faster than you can say Jack Robinson

Extremely quickly; almost immediately; suddenly or in a very short space of time. Once I'm finished with high school, I'll be outta this two-bit town faster than you can say Jack Robinson! I was out fishing one day when, faster than you can say Jack Robinson, a 20-pound trout jumped out of the water and right into my lap!
See also: can, faster, jack, Robinson, say

quicker than you can say Jack Robinson

Extremely quickly; almost immediately; suddenly or in a very short space of time. Once I'm finished with high school, I'll be outta this two-bit town quicker than you can say Jack Robinson! I was out fishing one day when, quicker than you can say Jack Robinson, a 20-pound trout jumped out of the water and right into my lap!
See also: can, jack, quicker, Robinson, say

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

Heath Robinson

  (British)
if a machine or system is Heath Robinson, it is very complicated in a way that is funny, but not practical or effective
Usage notes: Heath Robinson was an English artist who drew strange, complicated machines that could do simple jobs.
My granny's got this great Heath Robinson device for slicing eggs.
See also: Robinson

before you can say Jack Robinson

  (old-fashioned)
if you say that something happens before you can say Jack Robinson, it happens very suddenly I offered her a chocolate but before you could say Jack Robinson she'd eaten half the box.
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 ?
Robinson afraid, drunk, sobbing Robinson In bed with a Mis.
The big question in the current Anglican crisis is whether the battle over Robinson, for all its emphasis on issues of sexuality that past generations could barely have imagined, is just another reflection of that age-old battle, or whether the ECUSA has rejected all Anglican orthodoxy in the pursuit of a sincere but secularist devotion to sexual equality.
Ironic that Robinson would speak of darkness and light with Freeman seated nearby, wearing an oversized pair of sunglasses.
Robinson suggests trying a traditional cosmopolitan with a small amount of champagne poured to float on top of the drink--a cocktail he created and calls an imperial cosmo.
Robinson began this study as a dissertation under the auspices of Eugene Genovese more than a quarter century ago.
In Chapter One, Robinson reviews the work of Bruce Bower and his friends but primarily focuses on Bower's A Place at the Table.
After striking out with city and federal officials, Anna May Robinson turned to family, friends and her church.
According to Robinson, the choice was mainly one of finding a place with minimal distractions.
Spiritual combat is directed toward perfection, Robinson writes, and it really is a combat; true holiness and spirituality do not consist in exercises which are pleasing to us and conformable to our nature but in those that "nail that nature with all its works to the cross.
Bishop Robinson is an exemplary model for our community and a most worthy recipient of recognition as Person of the Year.
Included in the crush of bishops who laid hands on Bishop Robinson, in a centuries-old tradition that traces back to the apostles, were two Canadian bishops: Michael Ingham of New Westminster, who has argued for the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the church, and Bruce Stavert of Quebec, whose diocese is in three-way companion relationship with the dioceses of New Hampshire and Limerick and Killaloe in Ireland.
In 1945, at age 19, I was a premed sophomore at Long Island University, and I wondered how Jackie Robinson would endure playing a game loaded with whites of the Southern persuasion.
Robinson took a similarly high-tech approach to automating a four-cavity insert-molding job for an electrical part.
To that end, Robinson makes use of familiar icons: He uses Johnny Cash as a symbol of the lonesome cowboy, his projection of autonomy making him a role model for the contemporary artist, and Darth Vader to embody our culture's fascination with conspiracy theories; to Osama bin Laden he attributes the statement "Michael Jackson rocks" in the form of a comic-strip speech bubble.
In his present position, Robinson and his team are responsible for sensing systems, bodywork electrics, on-board electronic network components, audio and navigation systems, and motors for manufacturers that are building product in the NAFTA region.