twinkle

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in the twinkle of an eye

Immediately; very quickly; at once. (A variant of the more common "in the twinkling of an eye.") Just call us on this number if you have any problems, and we'll be back in the twinkle of an eye. Don't worry, boss, I'll have this report typed up in the twinkle of an eye!
See also: eye, of, twinkle

twinkle in (one's) eye

1. A facial expression that denotes happiness, amusement, or knowledge of a secret. Just when Rita thought all hope was lost, Jared got a twinkle in his eye that told her he had a plan to get them both out of that sticky situation.
2. A hope or plan that is not yet in existence. You were not even a twinkle in your mother's eye when that photo was taken.
See also: eye, twinkle

twinkle in (one's) father's eye

A phrase used to describe the time before one's birth. I never knew my grandparents; they died when I was just a twinkle in my father's eye.
See also: eye, twinkle

twinkle with (something)

1. To flicker or glimmer with intermittent gleams coming from or reflecting off of something. The tree twinkled with the beautiful strings of lights. Her dress positively twinkled with sequins.
2. Of eyes, to seem bright because of some emotion or action. The kids' eyes twinkled with excitement as we pulled into the amusement park. My grandfather's eyes always twinkled with mischief whenever he told that story.
See also: twinkle

when (one) was a twinkle in (one's) father's eye

Before one was born. I never knew my grandparents—they died when I was a twinkle in my father's eye.
See also: eye, twinkle

twinkle with something

[for someone's eyes] to sparkle because of something. Her eyes twinkled with laughter. Tom's eyes twinkled with recognition when he saw Gwen again.
See also: twinkle

a twinkle in someone's eye

or

a gleam in someone's eye

If a plan or project is only a twinkle in or a gleam in someone's eye, it is only at the stage of being considered as a possibility. Projects that a few years back were just a twinkle in the planners' eyes are now bricks and cement. At this point, space-launched weapons were still only a gleam in his eye. Note: You can also talk about a glint in someone's eye. The European central bank was still no more than a glint in its creators' eyes. Note: Words such as gleam, glint and twinkle can be used to describe the way people's eyes shine or reflect the light. They often suggest hidden energy, emotion, or humour and refer to the excitement of having a particular idea before putting it into practice.
See also: eye, twinkle

a twinkle in someone's eye

something that is still in the pre-planning stage and on which no action has yet been taken, especially a child not as yet conceived. informal
See also: eye, twinkle
References in periodicals archive ?
THE GREAT BRITISH STORY: A PEOPLE'S HISTORY BBC Two, 9pm To many women of a certain age, Michael Wood, above, is the twinkly eyed historian capable of getting them all in a lather just with the mere mention of museums and local archives.
For once, James Nesbitt stopped his twinkly Irish charm thing.
Not only does it instantly refresh tired peepers, it really makes them look bright and twinkly -- just what every girl needs after a night on the tiles.
The power of that instrument is pretty much lost in the mix, in retro arrangements whose twinkly keybord chordage recalls The Christians or Bob James, and which run in two gears: respectable funk pace, with big burping basslines, and a bit slower.
STARDUST C4 2.50PM Claire Danes is a fallen star - the twinkly kind - in a fantasy land.
HOLLYOAKS Mon-Fri C4 It's wedding time for flashy newcomer Porsche, who looklike a Barbie crossed with a Christmas tree fairy in her twinkly meringue.
Someone should give twinkly old codger Leon (above with longsuffering missus, June) a medal or his own series.
The winners, as ever, are the cakes, puds, biscuits and showstoppers they turn out each week, as the steely-eyed master baker Paul Hollywood and twinkly but stern Mary Berry lookon, while Sue and Mel do their best to crack jokes and distract the contestants.
Felt snowman stocking, pounds 21.50, from www.berryred.co.uk BRIGHT LIGHTS * Ideal for homes a bit tight on space, a twinkly Christmas tree will sit just as well in a window as it will on a centre table.
Freezelight Magic Forest Forget yer Avatar - this is how you do twinkly light effects in among the trees.
The real cost of maintaining the wind turbines vastly outweighing their revenue that they generate and now, taken away the free parking over Christmas for a few twinkly lights.
I've got lots of little twinkly lights and lamps dotted around the flat.
He has twinkly eyes, a great sense of humour and a lovely smile -but hunk?
Twinkly lights covered the stage, with a huge I-NY backdrop emphasising the FLC's intimate identification with the beleaguered Apple.