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on the double

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Very quickly, as in You'd better get here on the double. This expression, also put as at the double, came from the military, where it means “double time”—that is, marching twice as fast as normally. [Early 1800s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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