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Jack Robinson

Before you can say Jack Robinson. Immediately. Grose says that the saying had its birth from a very volatile gentleman of that name, who used to pay flying visits to his neighbours, and was no sooner announced than he was off again; but the following couplet does not confirm this derivation:

A warke it ys as easie to be done
As tys to saye Jacke! robys on.

An old Play, cited by Halliwell: Arch. Dict.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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