An idiom with a few variations is a lamb’s tail in two shakes. An idiom is a word, word group or phrase with a figurative meaning that is not easily derived from its literal sense. In order to express a succinct concept, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language, and are often spoken or considered casual or conversational. An idiom, even when the root of the idiomatic expression is lost, may explain emotion more easily than a word that has a literal meaning. Many students of English as a Second Language do not understand idiomatic phrases, as they try to translate them word by word, which only gives the literal meaning. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, in order to know English like a native speaker, one must grasp the figurative sense of idiomatic phrases. In two shakes of a lamb’s tail, we will discuss the meaning of the phrase, a few phrases that are variants on this word, when it first appeared, and some examples of its use in sentences.
A lamb’s tail explains doing something instantly, with no hesitation, in two shakes. Doing something in two lamb tail shakes means you’ve done it really easily. Two idiomatic sayings are connected to this word. In two shakes of the dead tail of a lamb, one might be as old or older than the present idiom. Currently, this idiom suggests that something is not going to be done at all, since dead lambs do not shake their tails. There are two shakes in another similar expression which is in more common use today. This is an abbreviation of the initial expression. All three of these words are prepositional sentences, since the preposition starts with all of them. While all were once popular phrases, the tail of a dead lamb is more or less an obsolete term in two shakes, and the tail of a lamb also falls into uncommon usage in two shakes. There is fairly common slang language in two shakes, but it is seldom used in a formal sentence. Interestingly, a shake is an informal unit of time that the scientists working on the Manhattan Project originally named and identified. The scientists, familiar with the idiom of two shakes of the tail of a lamb, designated a shake to be ten nanoseconds. In order to explain a nuclear reaction, being able to calculate time in such small increments was important. The earliest recorded publication of the word in two shakes of the tail of a lamb was in Richard Barham’s Ingoldsby Legends, 1840. While etymology is currently uncertain, the word is almost certainly much older than that. The idiom synonyms that can be found in a thesaurus are soon, fast, easily, quickly. Remember that an apostrophe is spelled with the word lamb, as it is a possessive noun
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