give a lick and a promise

give something a lick and a promise

 
1. (British & Australian old-fashioned) to clean something quickly and not carefully I put on my new suit, gave my shoes a lick and a promise, and left the house.
2. (American & Australian old-fashioned) to do a job or piece of work quickly and not carefully We didn't have time to do much clearing up in the yard - just gave the grass a lick and a promise.
See also: and, give, lick, promise