Posted by R. Berg on October 10, 2006
In Reply to: Three shakes of a lambs tail posted by James Briggs on October 10, 2006
: : origin three shakes of a lambs tail
: Literally that. Three shakes of a lamb's tail can happen very quickly, hence the analogy. Quite a common phrase in the UK. Must be 100s of years old and based on simple observation. Used to describe something happening quickly, usually the time elapsing before a task is completed.
The U.S. version is "two shakes of a lamb's tail." Why the difference? Unless we have slower lambs over here, you can blame exchange rates. ~rb