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The meaning and origin of the expression: In the twinkling of an eye

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In the twinkling of an eye

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Meaning

In an instant.

Origin

This is recorded by Robert Manning of Brunne, in Handlyng synne, 1303: "Yn twynkelyng of an ye"

It is also used in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 15:52 (King James Version):

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Cobbe family portrait of William ShakespeareIt was later used by Shakespeare in The Merchant Of Venice, 1596:

"I'll take my leave of the Jew in the twinkling of an eye."

See other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.