14 Phrases Like “In the Blink of an Eye”

‘In the blink of an eye’ is a popular idiom that is used to qualify the lightning speed of an action or happening.

While it doesn’t really have to do with blinking eyes, we can tell that its meaning is from a blinking eye.

You blink your eyes several times daily. It happens so fast that, sometimes, we can’t control it. We all blink our eyes without realizing it in some cases.

You can’t count how many times our eyes blink daily. No one pays so much attention to how often it happens and one of the reasons is how fast the eye blinks.

This idiom is an allusion to how fast the eye blinks. When you say something happens in the blink of an eye, then it happens quickly or for a short time.

14 Phrases Similar to “In the blink of an eye”

  1. In a jiffy.
  2. To not bat an eyelid.
  3. A mile a minute.
  4. More haste less speed.
  5. Fast and furious.
  6. Bring up to speed
  7. As fast as one’s legs can carry
  8. Break a leg.
  9. Pick up the slack.
  10. Better late than never
  11. In a split second.
  12. The early bird catches the worm
  13. Quick as a flash.
  14. In a hurry.

In a jiffy

This is an informal synonym of ‘in the blink of an eye’. It is commonly used, also. ‘Jiffy’, in this context, can be compared to the blink of an eye.

In the idiom, ‘in the blink of an eye’, the occurrence being qualified is not happening as quickly or as short as the blink of an eye.

A blink happens so quickly that a person may be unable to keep track. The occurrence may take several minutes and still be said to have happened in the blink of an eye.

It is similar to saying something happened very shortly. When you expect something to take a long time but it takes a much shorter time, then you can say it happened in the blink of an eye or in a jiffy.

A ‘Jiffy’ refers to an unspecified short time so the use of this idiom is relative to the situation you are qualifying and your initial expectations.

To not bat an eyelid

This is another popularly known and used idiom. You can use it both in the positive and negative but it is mostly used in the negative, that is ‘to not bat an eyelid’.

We have two interpretations of this idiom. The two meanings are very similar but there is a minor difference we can consider.

‘Bat an eyelid’ can refer to a person’s sudden and slight response to something. A person can bat an eyelid when he or she is shocked by some information or an appearance.

It may also be a show of fear. In simple English, it simply refers to the act of ‘Flinching’. Flinching is the act of jerking away quickly as a reaction to shock.

This can happen as a result of fear or pain. To get a closer understanding of the idiom and this word, you can imagine touching a hot metal unintentionally.

READ:  20 Phrases Similar to "Out of the Loop"

The immediate response where you pull yourself away is called Flinching.

‘Bat an eyelid’ may also refer to a general response or reaction to something. This may not have to do with flinching at all. Rather, it refers to any reaction ranging from action to speech.

When a person doesn’t bat eyelid, then he or she refuses to respond or react to something. It can be considered a form of ignoring or just acting unaffected and staying confident.

You can say a person is not batting an eyelid if he or she is refusing to act in an expected way after being prodded.

If a person is threatened but refuses to act like it, yield, or make any move, then he or she is not batting an eyelid.

A mile a minute

This idiom is not very popular but it is one of a very popular kind. You may already be able to guess what it means.

When you say something is happening a mile a minute, then it is happening very quickly. We all know how much a mile is.

There is barely anyone or anything that can move as far as a mile within one minute. There may be things that move this fast but this idiom is used to refer to actions or things that don’t actually move that fast.

It is a form of exaggeration that is not meant to be literally intended.

You can say a person is moving a mile a minute. This means he or she is moving very quickly. We can also say a person is talking a mile a minute.

Of course, speech is not meant to be calculated with distance but it is metaphoric and we get the idea.

Other similar idioms that exaggerate simple adjectives include ‘mountain out of a molehill’ etc.

More haste less speed

This is more of some good advice. You may have heard this so many times already and you just may know what it means. I won’t be surprised if you have heard this and you don’t know its meaning.

This idiom, ‘More haste less speed’, can be considered more of a witty saying than an idiom. It is not very metaphoric, in the sense that it is often interpreted literally. It is paradoxical.

Anyone would expect to get faster by hastening up. When we want people to get to us quickly or finish up with something faster, we tell them to hasten up. This saying, however, disagrees with you.

It is true that more haste can lead to less speed. It may not always be true but being in so much haste can lead to so many impulsive movements and mistakes which make further delay you.

In some cases, you may make a mistake that leads you to start over again or have to deal with another problem that takes you time.

READ:  20 Similar Phrases to ‘When Pigs Fly’

While you had hastened up to finish within minutes, you end up spending many more hours in dealing with the consequences of your haste.

Fast and furious

We have heard this a billion times even though it may not be used as an idiom in most cases. There is a popular movie series with this title; Fast and Furious. It doesn’t portray the meaning of this idiom, however.

This idiom can be considered slightly literal, though it doesn’t necessarily imply that something is fast. Neither does it imply that it has to do with fury.

When something is said to be fast and furious, it is considered to be thrilling. When a movie or an event is lively and exciting, it will appear to be progressing quickly and energetically. This is why this idiom is considered slightly literal.

An example of a statement with this idiom is; ‘The show was fast and furious’.

Bring up to speed

This idiom is fairly popular so there is a chance you may have heard this in a conversation. To bring a person up to speed is to bring his or her knowledge up to date.

This idiom simply refers to the act of giving somebody information or news that he or she may have missed out on.

You may be working on a project with a team but have to stay away for a moment. When you return, you have to be brought up to speed so you’ll know how far your team has gone with the project and everything else you need to know to proceed with the rest of the team.

As fast as one’s legs can carry

How fast can your legs carry you? Maybe not as far as one may desire to run. Running on your legs is often not the best option for someone wishing to just teleport.

This idiom clearly talks about speed. It isn’t very hard to understand so it doesn’t require a lot of explanation. When you tell a person to run as fast as his or her legs can carry him or her, you are simply telling him or her to move at the highest speed possible.

This does not come in form of an exaggeration like some other idioms. An example of a similar idiom in form of an exaggeration is ‘as fast as a cheetah’.

You don’t expect a person to run as fast as a cheetah. It is simply an exaggeration of the person’s speed. The idiom above has the same meaning but is more of a superlative than an exaggeration.

Break a leg

Here is another very popular idiom. You can bet that this idiom is known around the world. It used to be a triggering idiom, considering how its metaphoric meaning highly contrasts what it literally suggests.

However, its metaphoric meaning is now acknowledged worldwide so there is a very high chance that you will be understood clearly if you say this to a random stranger.

READ:  Swinging from the Chandelier Meaning/Origin/Similar Idioms

Nobody wants to break their leg. This is what you say to a person who is going to participate in a competition or going to do something that could either lead to success or failure. It simply wishes the person good luck.

You read right. ‘Break a leg’ is a good luck wish.

Pick up the slack

‘Pick up the slack’ or ‘take up the slack’ has several meanings. This can refer to the act of pulling something that is slack till it is tight. An example is when you pull the laces in your shoes.

This idiom may refer to the provision of resources that are needed for a project to keep running at a steady pace. In other words, if the resources are not provided, there will be an undesired lull or slack.

This idiom may also refer to the consumption of something that would otherwise go to waste.

The final and most common interpretation of this idiom refers to the act of doing some work that would otherwise be left undone. In other words, no one will do it if you don’t.

Better late than never

This is another idiom that has to do with time. This is also another idiom that is more of a witty saying.

This is something you say when time is running by and it feels too late to do something. This implies that it’s better to do it late than not do it at all. This idiom isn’t a wise saying in every situation.

An example of a correct situation is when you say Sorry at a late time to someone you’ve offended.

In a split second

Virtually nothing can happen in a split second but we’ll just use this idiomatically. When you say something happened in a split second, it simply means it happened very quickly.

You can say ‘He went home and returned with the book in a split second’. Of course, it didn’t happen in a split second but no one will beat you up for it.

The early bird catches the worm

Here is another fairly popular idiom speaking of punctuality. This is a piece of good advice to get up early so you can catch your ‘worms’.

It implies that being punctual and fast helps you reach your aims.

Quick as a flash

This is simply used to qualify the speed of something. Nothing is quick as a flash of light. It is an exaggeration but the point of your statement is the quickness of whatever you are talking about.

In a hurry

This is another idiom that has to do with haste. Being in a hurry is different from moving at high speed. Remember, being hasty may just end up reducing your speed and giving you more work to do.

Leave a Comment