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quick and the dead

The living and the dead, as in The explosion was loud enough to wake the quick and the dead . Although quick has been used for “living” since the 9th century a.d. , it survives only in this idiom and in cut to the quick , and may be obsolescent.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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