: PLACES AND FAMILIES
: Popular Rhymes And Nursery Tales
There are few proverbial expressions more common than the saying, "As
soon as you can say Jack Robinson," implying excessive rapidity. I have
seen the phrase with the name of Dick Robinson, but failed to take a
memorandum of it. It has since occurred to me that it may have
originated in some way or other with the actor of that name mentioned by
Ben Jonson. If, however, the following quotation from an "old play,"
given by Carr, be genuine, this conjecture must fall to the ground:
A warke it ys as easie to be doone,
As 'tys to saye, Jack! robys on.