like greased lightning

(redirected from like a blue streak)

like greased lightning

Extremely fast. Wow, that car just blew past me—it's moving like greased lightning! When I take tests, I speed through them like greased lightning, so I'm sure I'll be the first one done.
See also: grease, lightning, like

like greased lightning

Rur. very fast. Once I get her tuned up, this old car will go like greased lightning. He's a fat kid, but he can run like greased lightning.
See also: grease, lightning, like

like greased lightning

Also, like a blue streak; like the wind; like blazes. Very fast indeed, as in He climbed that ladder like greased lightning, or She kept on talking like a blue streak, or The children ran like the wind when they heard there'd be free ice cream. The likening of speed to lightning dates from the 1500s, and grease was added in the early 1800s to further accentuate the idea of haste. The first variant, blue streak, also dates from the early 1800s and alludes to something resembling lightning. The wind in the second variant has been a metaphor for swiftness since ancient Roman times. The blazes in the last variant, first recorded in 1925, alludes to fire or lightning.
See also: grease, lightning, like

like greased ˈlightning

(informal) very fast: After the phone call, he was out of the door like greased lightning.
See also: grease, lightning, like

like greased lightning

Very rapid(ly). The speed of lightning had been likened to any fast action since the sixteenth century. “It must be done like lightning,” wrote Ben Jonson in 1598 (Every Man in His Humour, 4.5). In the early nineteenth century somebody or other decided that grease would exaggerate the idea of haste even more. Some attribute it to Americans, others to Britons. An early appearance in print was in the Boston Herald of 1833: “He spoke as quick as ‘greased lightning.’” Almost synonymous is the expression like a blue streak, which since about 1830 has also meant “very fast.” However, it acquired another meaning when used in the context of talking. To talk a blue streak has meant, since the mid-1800s, to talk fast and intensely, virtually without stopping. A letter of S. Hale’s (1895) stated, “I drove in . . . talking a blue streak two miles to her house.” See also talk one's head off; quick as a wink.
See also: grease, lightning, like