off the blocks

off the (starting) blocks

Immediately; at or from the very starting position. Starting blocks are where runners are positioned at the beginning of a race. Off the blocks, the company's latest video game console has proven wildly popular. We're aiming to be the first one off the starting blocks with mixed-reality technology. I was a bit slow off the blocks to decide on what I wanted to study in college, but by my second year I felt really confident in my degree.
See also: block, off

off the blocks

or

out of the blocks

If someone is quick or slow off the blocks or out of the blocks, they are quick or slow to do something, and if they are first or last off the blocks, they are first or last to do something. Note: These expressions come from athletics, where sprinters (= runners of fast, short races) put their feet against pieces of equipment called starting blocks to help them start quickly when the race begins. Both newspapers were quick off the blocks to put the minister's remarks on their front page. The Liberal Democrats were first off the blocks with their manifesto on Monday. Note: You can also say off the starting blocks instead of off the blocks. Buyers who were a little slow off the starting blocks to bid for the property now have another chance. Note: You can also say something gets off the blocks, meaning that something starts, especially despite difficulties. That should be an interesting project, if it ever gets off the blocks.
See also: block, off
References in classic literature ?
I suppose he went under the barrel, perhaps in pursuit of a mouse, and somehow knocked it off the block and so imprisoned himself."
India got off the blocks with Eric and Himanshu creating chances in the opening exchanges.
Summary: The visitors came racing off the blocks and were in front within 120 seconds through Sebastian Soria.
The Japanese was quick off the blocks, taking a 6-2 lead, but Sindhu did well to gain three consecutive points, trailing 5-6.
And the first off the blocks are the Kitui Members of the County Assembly, who flew to the Coast with their Governor, Charity Ngilu, for induction.
A senior official told M AIL T ODAY that the disinvestment programme is expected to get off the blocks with the offloading of Coal India and Sail shares followed by other blue chip companies such as ONGC.
The choice to auction off the blocks was made just above a month ago by the Council of Ministers of Sao Tome and Principe after interest was at the start shown by London Global Energy and the Blue Skies World group.
Spavento 3.40 Ayr SP forecast 6-4 Always comes to hand early (all five wins before end of first week in July) and quick off the blocks again this season when scoring at Newcastle in April.
BIRMINGHAM-bound members of the US track and field team were slow off the blocks - when a bus taking them to the Olympic Village appeared to get lost.
This one is quick off the blocks and covers the topics one would expect, including the Ancient Olympics, Olympic sports, controversies, host cities and Olympic records.
Perkins and Barath had exploded off the blocks at the top of the order for T&T, with the dashing Perkins setting the tempo.
Newtown were fast off the blocks and Worton scored with a shot from 12 yards after an interchange of passes by Nicky Ward and Neil Mitchell.
However, they flew off the blocks and were unlucky not to take the lead in 11 minutes when Sons keeper David McEwan brilliantly saved Ross O'Donoghue's drive.
Sunderland City Council's portfolio holder for Culture and Leisure, Coun Mel Speding said: "We're off the blocks and on to a good start."
Unfortunately, the borough council's cabinet has been slow off the blocks, and its track record is not impressive.