next thing one knows

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next thing one knows

  1. (idiomatic, colloquial) suddenly, out of the blue.
    • 1990 July 22, “2 Roofers Hit by Lightning, Man Critically Injured”, in South Florida Sun - Sentinel:
      ([Milton Dosantos]) just said they were on the roof and the next thing they knew, they were flat on their backs
    • 1998, Al Rapaport, Buddhism in America:
      He had three fingers on one hand because one of them had been shot off, and he'd sit there doing this and next thing you know, out would come this three-dimensional folded cage or a box or cranes or snails. Really remarkable.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Most commonly as next thing you know.