lickety-split

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First attested about 1860, in the US, as a fanciful alteration of lick and the verb split. lick appears to have something to do with animals made to go faster by means of a "lick" of a whip, although it may have also originated due to a preference for rapid licking (the "quick lick").

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Adverb[edit]

lickety-split (not comparable)

  1. Quickly; as fast as possible; in short order.
    At the sound of the starting gun, they were off and running lickety-split.

References[edit]

  • lickety-split” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).