quick and the dead


Also found in: Wikipedia.

quick and the dead

The living and the dead, as in The explosion was loud enough to wake the quick and the dead. Although quick has been used for "living" since the 9th century a.d., it survives only in this idiom and in cut to the quick, and may be obsolescent.
See also: and, dead, quick
References in periodicals archive ?
One can make a case that the true test of liturgical endurance is the ironic misquote; when we can speak of the quick and the dead in traffic - even if we are not Anglicans, even if the Anglican Church has thrown out the word "quick" as linguistically obsolete - we revive the old meaning for the sake of the pun, and both invoke order and create vertigo in a new place.