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!
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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 (one) can say Jack Robinson

Quickly or suddenly. (The true identity of Jack Robinson is unknown.) I'm not far from your house, so I'll be there before you can say Jack Robinson.
See also: before, can, jack, Robinson, say

Heath Robinson

Describing an unnecessarily complicated machine used for a simple task. Similar to "Rube Goldberg." Heath Robinson was an English illustrator known for drawing such contraptions. Primarily heard in UK. I just love these silly Heath Robinson contraptions—it takes imagination to design something so complicated!
See also: Robinson

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

before you could say Jack Robinson

OLD-FASHIONED
COMMON If you say that something happened before you could say Jack Robinson, you mean it happened very suddenly and quickly. The pair of them were out of the door and down the steps before you could say Jack Robinson. Note: People sometimes change Jack Robinson to a word or expression that relates to the subject they are talking about. She was on the phone to New York before you could say long-distance. Note: The identity of Jack Robinson is unknown and the name might have become popular because both elements were once extremely common. The phrase appears in the novel `Evelina' (1778) by Fanny Burney: `I'll do it as soon as say Jack Robinson'.
See also: before, could, jack, Robinson, say

before you can say Jack Robinson

very quickly or suddenly. informal
This expression was in use in the late 18th century, but neither an early 19th-century popular song about Jack Robinson nor some mid 19th-century attempts to identify the eponymous Jack Robinson shed any light on its origins.
See also: before, can, jack, Robinson, say

before you can say Jack ˈRobinson

(old-fashioned) very quickly or suddenly: I’ll do that for you. I’ll have it finished before you can say Jack Robinson.
See also: before, can, jack, Robinson, say
References in periodicals archive ?
Robinson comes across as precisely the sort of believer who ought to become a priest or bishop: conscientious, selfless, deeply empathetic, theologically orthodox (in terms of the basics of the faith), and capable of reaching out to even the bitterest enemies.
Robinson explains that several factors contribute to the higher quality, and price, of top-shelf liquors.
But the Confederacy's independence struggle--not a civil war, Robinson firmly maintained--unleashed class and racial tensions that decisively undermined the Confederacy's capacity to attain victory in a war of attrition over a more richly endowed adversary.
Arguably the best known of these four, he is a more visible intellectual with, as Robinson notes, "greater intellectual pretensions".
Robinson could have used a spread sheet to document the avalanche of aid.
We had originally used our boardroom at our head office in Dryden," Robinson says.
In his first chapter Robinson discuses these basic principles, and supports them with scriptural quotations.
While I do not in any way disagree with your selection of Bishop Robinson, I would perhaps add that not only was he courageous for standing up for himself and his beliefs, but the Episcopalians of New Hampshire who voted in favor of his election also deserve recognition and an equal share of the applause for their open-mindedness and acceptance.
Bishop Mayes said his diocese was not surprised at the election as they were familiar with Bishop Robinson through exchange visits between the dioceses.
Rickey had received enthusiastic reports about Robinson from his scouts.
Born in New Zealand a descendant of the Maori, Peter Robinson has been living in Germany for several years now.
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.
In Robinson, the Service issued a deficiency to Edward and Diana Robinson on their 1987 return, which included $195,716 in Schedule C adjustments relating to Edward's law practice.
In a drive to become a supplier of choice for safely-critical aluminum automotive components, Robinson has added low-pressure to its vertically parted green sand repertoire.
Called only Senor Robinson in the novel, in life he is an anthropologist masquerading as a minister.