There are heaps of ways we refer to something being speedy or needing to be speedier. Here are a few:
-in a flash
-in three shakes of a lamb's tail (only two shakes in the UK)
-quick as a wink
-in the blink of an eye
-quick as a bunny
-quick as lightning
-get the lead out
Here are some for which I could find source information:
-fast track (1934 horse racing)
-pronto (1850) from Spanish &/or Italian from a word meaning prompt
-breakneck (1560s) moving so fast one is likely to break one’ s neck
-giddy up (1909) a mispronunciation of get up, also spelled gee-hup, gee-up & giddap.
-flat-out — most likely from horse-racing when horse & jockey flatten out to decrease wind resistance
-posthaste (1530s) with great speed - a request written on the envelopes of letters
-lickety-split (1852) most likely based on lick - a speedy sprint while racing - also lickety-cut, lickety-click, & licketie — probably related to quick as a lick
-faster than you can say "Jack Robinson" has numerous proposed sources, none of them confirmed, but all intriguing:
-Jack Robinson was US Secretary of the Treasury in the late 1700s & was able to get things done speedily in Congress
-Jack Robinson was constable of the Tower of London, responsible for quickly successive beheadings
-Jack Robinson was an English gentleman well-known for speedy changes of opinion
Have you got a favorite idiom regarding speediness? If so, please let me know in the comments section.
Thanks to this week’s sources, Etymonline.com, the OED, Merriam-Webster, Answers.com, ,& Wordnik.com.