in a trice

in a trice

At once; nearly immediately or very quickly or suddenly. Our storewide sale will only be available as supplies last, so be sure to hurry—these deals are going to be gone in a trice! When faced with the need to save costs, the management decided the fates of lower-level workers in a trice, without any serious deliberation.
See also: trice

in a trice

in a moment; very quickly.
In late Middle English, at a trice meant ‘at one pull or tug’, and it soon developed the figurative meaning of ‘in a moment, immediately’. By the late 17th century the original form of the expression had given way to the more familiar in a trice. Trice itself comes from a Middle Dutch verb meaning ‘hoist’.
See also: trice

in a ˈtrice

very quickly or suddenly: He was gone in a trice.
See also: trice

in two shakes of a lamb's tail

Instantly, very quickly. Lambs surely were known to be frisky creatures long before, but this expression, often shortened to in two shakes, dates only from the early nineteenth century and originated in America. Mark Twain changed it in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) to “three shakes of a sheep’s tail,” suggesting it was already very well known by the late nineteenth century. A similar cliché, in a trice, which came from a now obsolete word meaning to pull on a rope and alluded to a single pull, is rarely heard today but was extremely common from the eighteenth century on.
See also: of, shake, tail, two
References in classic literature ?
"Aladdin must rub the magic lamp; then the slave will appear, and these tears be dried in a trice."
I'll bet, if they are going to Salamanca to study, they'll come to be alcaldes of the Court in a trice; for it's a mere joke- only to read and read, and have interest and good luck; and before a man knows where he is he finds himself with a staff in his hand or a mitre on his head."
Almost in a trice he was back, both slippers in his mouth, which he deposited at the steward's feet.
Shuan was on his feet in a trice; he still looked dazed, but he meant murder, ay, and would have done it, for the second time that night, had not the captain stepped in between him and his victim.
A chance meeting, a service rendered, a happy phrase, a knack of facetious mimicry, and a man's career might be made in a trice. So it had been with Bryantsev, whom Stepan Arkadyevitch had met the previous day, and who was one of the highest functionaries in government now.
I had not time to be afraid, but as the blow still hung impending, leaped in a trice upon one side, and missing my foot in the soft sand, rolled headlong down the slope.
In 1976, two more poems were composed in honor of Trice, see "Two Sonnets to be Read in a Trice (Stadium)," Iowa State Daily, May 5, 1976.