Also: In a New York Minute
Meaning of Idiom ‘New York Minute’
A New York minute is a very short period of time; an instant. 1Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms]. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
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This idiom is often used in the phrase “in a New York minute” to mean that something happens in an instant, or very quickly.
Examples Of Use
“I’d quit this job in a New York minute if I got a nice offer.”
“You’re life can change in a New York minute. You have to appreciate what you have now.”
“I’d leave town in a New York minute if I could figure out where I wanted to go.”
This idiom originated sometime in the 1950s or 1960s, and references the frenzied pace of life in New York City. It may be a reference, also, to the lack of patience displayed by the city’s inhabitants. Television host Johnny Carson humorously described “a New York minute as “interval between a Manhattan traffic light turning green and the guy behind you honking his horn.”
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