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quick off the mark

Fast to start or try something, as in This physician is quick off the mark in trying the newest medications. This expression comes from various kinds of races, where mark indicates the starting point. It was being used figuratively from the mid-1900s on.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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