before you can say something

before you can say (something) surprisingly quickly.

This bow shoots so fast, the arrow is in the target before you can say “gee whiz!”

Usage notes: often the word or phrase that follows before you can say is related to the situation you are talking about:

In summer, food goes bad before you can say “heat wave!”

Etymology: an older form of this expression is before you can say Jack Robinson

New idioms dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • before you can say — (something) surprisingly quickly. This bow shoots so fast, the arrow is in the target before you can say “gee whiz!” Usage notes: often the word or phrase that follows before you can say is related to the situation you are talking about: In… …   New idioms dictionary

  • before you can say Jack Robinson — before (you) can say Jack Robinson old fashioned if you say that something happens before you can say Jack Robinson, it happens very suddenly. I offered her a chocolate but before you could say Jack Robinson she d eaten half the box …   New idioms dictionary

  • before you can say jack robinson — The term Jack Robinson represents a short amount of time . When you do something before you can say Jack Robinson, you do it very quickly …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • before you can say knife — (UK) If something happens before you can say knife, it happens very quickly …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • before you can say Jack Robinson —    The term Jack Robinson represents a short amount of time . </p><p>When you do something before you can say Jack Robinson, you do it very quickly.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • before can say Jack Robinson — before (you) can say Jack Robinson old fashioned if you say that something happens before you can say Jack Robinson, it happens very suddenly. I offered her a chocolate but before you could say Jack Robinson she d eaten half the box …   New idioms dictionary

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