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# When someone says--'I'll be there in a jiffy.'--how long is that?

Question #18393. Asked by curious. (Apr 18 02 2:00 AM)

mk2norwich

A 'jiffy' in British English means much the same as 'moment'. No specific length of time constitutes a jiffy, so it could mean two minutes or two hours.

 Apr 18 02, 5:19 AM
Senior Moments

According to the New Hackers Dictionary a jiffy is 1.)the duration of one tick of the system clock on your computer (see tick). Often one AC cycle time (1/60 second in the U.S. and Canada, 1/50 most other places), but more recently 1/100 sec has become common. 'The swapper runs every 6 jiffies' means that the virtual memory management routine is executed once for every 6 ticks of the clock, or about ten times a second. 2.) Confusingly, the term is sometimes also used for a 1-millisecond wall time interval. Even more confusingly, physicists semi-jokingly use %60jiffy' to mean the time required for light to travel one foot in a vacuum, which turns out to be close to one nanosecond. 3.) Indeterminate time from a few seconds to forever. 'I'll do it in a jiffy' means certainly not now and possibly never. This is a bit contrary to the more widespread use of the word. - www.instinct.org/texts/jargon-file/jargon_25.html

 Apr 18 02, 6:45 AM
Andy

A jiffy is an actual measurement of time. It is 1/100 of a second.

 May 08 02, 11:35 AM

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