Johnny On The Spot

Johnny on the Spot (sometimes spelled Johnny-on-the-spot) is an idiom which has been in use in the United States since the 1890’s.

Meaning

A ‘Johnny on the spot’ is a person who is always available and willing to do whatever needs to be done. He or she is always in the right place when they are needed and great in an emergency. Someone who is the right person in the right place.

Examples Of Use

This idiom is sometimes used sarcastically.

“My best friend Terrence is always there when I need him—Johnny on the spot.”

“That ambulance chaser is always the guy they hire after an accident…Mr. Johnny on the Spot.”

Origin

The origin of this idiom is unknown. The original meaning seems to have been a person who was on his toes, waiting for an opportunity, and quick to react and in the right place at the right time to take advantage of whatever came his way. It may have its origins in business. Johnny refers to “any person” and never referred to a specific man. It was recorded in print as early as 1896.

Since 1970 “Johnny on the Spot” has been used by a portable toilet company.

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