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Lickety-split

Posted by ESC on December 18, 2003

In Reply to: Lickity Split posted by Russ on December 18, 2003

: I curious if anyone knows the origin of the phrase Lickity Split?

: Russ

LICKETY-SPLIT - " adv. 1859, American English, formed from earlier 'lickitie' very fast (irregular formation from 'lick,' n., used dialectally in the sense of fast) + split, n."From The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology by Robert K. Barnhart (HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1995). Another source gives a first use as 1831 and lists these variations: lickety-brindle, lickety-cut, lickety smash, lickity-switch, lickoty-liner, and so forth. "Dictionary of American Regional English," Volume III by Frederic G. Cassidy (1996, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., and London, England).

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