like greased lightning

Idioms & Phrases

like greased lightning

Also, like a blue streak; ; like blazes. Very fast indeed, as in He climbed that ladder like greased lightning, or She kept on talking like a blue streak, or The children ran like the wind when they heard there'd be free ice cream. The likening of speed to lightning dates from the 1500s, and grease was added in the early 1800s to further accentuate the idea of haste. The first variant, blue streak, also dates from the early 1800s and alludes to something resembling lightning. The wind in the second variant has been a metaphor for swiftness since ancient Roman times. The blazes in the last variant, first recorded in 1925, alludes to fire or lightning.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: like gangbusters
Next Definition: like hell
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for like greased lightning
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing like greased lightning
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature