lickety-split .

very quickly


lickety-split = Blitzschnell, hoppla hopp, mit Volldampf, ruckzuck, wie der Blitz, stante pede, augenblicklich, ohne Verzögerung, sofort



“LICKETY-SPLIT: smallest chameleons have fastest tongues - It’s not quite faster than a speeding bullet, but Rhampholeon spinosus can flick its tongue faster than a launching space shuttle, a new study has shown.”

The Guardian

Did you

adverb (informal)

- very quickly

The Cambridge Dictionary


This interesting phrase is at least 170 years old. Its first appearance in print being in the newspaper Adams Sentinel, in 1847:

“On we went, lickity-split, the harrycame (hurricane) blowed harder, the timbers began to creak, the sails split to ribbons, some of the spars begun to snap and go by the board, and then all at once there was a terrible cry, ‘breakers ahead!’“

The many variations on ‘lickety-split’, for example ‘licketty-cut’, ‘licket-click’, ‘lickoty-split’ suggest an invented onomatopoeic phrase, suggestive of phrases like tick-tock (clocks), clippity-clop (horses' hooves), clickety-click (train wheels), pitter-patter (falling rain).


The acceleration of a chameleon’s tongue is the equivalent of getting from 0 to 60mph in 100th of a second, that’s 264 times the normal force of gravity at peak acceleration. In the course of sticking out its tongue to 2.5 times its own body length, this animal generates the highest yet measured acceleration and power output per kilogram of muscle mass of any reptile, bird, or mammal: 14,040 watts per kilogram.

Christopher V. Anderson, “Off like a shot: scaling of ballistic tongue projection reveals extremely high performance in small chameleons”

61 SYNONYMS for "lickety-split"

asap, as fast as your legs can carry you, as fast as a speeding bullet, as swift as an arrow, at a gallop, at breakneck speed, at full throttle, at full tilt, at light speed, at once, at the double, before you can say Jack Robinson, before you can say knife, chop-chop, double-quick, expeditiously, fast and furious, flat-out, full tilt, hell-for-leather, here and now, hotfoot, immediately, in a flash, in a jiffy, in a nanosecond, in a trice, in a twinkling, in double quick time, in less than no time, in next to no time, in short order, in the bat of an eye, in the wink of an eye, LICKETY-SPLIT, like a bat out of hell, like a bullet out of a gun, like a shot, like blazes, like gangbusters, like greased lightning, like nobody’s business, like the clappers, like the deuce, on the double, posthaste, presto, pronto, quick as a flash, quick as a fox, right off the bat, snappily, toot sweet, with all possible haste, with all speed, without delay, without discussion, without due process, without formality, without further ado, without more ado, zippily

PRACTICE OWAD in a conversation, say something like:

“We need the report LICKETY-SPLIT for a board presentation this afternoon, ok?”

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