In A Jiffy

Today my triplets learned a new phrase:

“In a jiffy”.


Our jiffy tale started when my little girl asked me what a jiffy is.  She was delighted with my answer.  She is either blessed or bitten by an efficient, perfectionist streak.  She proceeded to spend the whole day describing how she planned to do everything “in a jiffy”.

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I love when kids discover a new word they love so much, they feel the need to repeat it over, and over, again. That is, once it isn’t a swear word. I am sure we will have some new discoveries, in the not so distant future, that will require Mommy censoring.

“Jiffy” really is a brilliant word. It is one of those words that seem to sing and dance on a page, tripping off the tongue with ease. Don’t mind me! There are certain words that just catch my imagination, and I say them over and over again in my mind.

Photo Courtesy of Gregg Sperling

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I think my little girl likes words too. “Jiffy” was the “in-word” in our house today. You know the old saying – “like mother, like daughter.”

But when I sat down to write this post I came to realize how popular a word “jiffy” is, here in America.   It’s everywhere.  There’s Jiffy baking mix, Jiffy peanut butter, Jiffy yarn, Jiffy Lube oil changing, and Jiffy taxis in many cities.  I could go on and on.

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I found myself folding clothes a little faster today, as my jiffy coach stood by urging me onwards with her jiffiness (don’t think that is actually a word).

I washed the dishes quickly. I swept the floor at a faster pace today. In fact the whole day went by in a jiffy.

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I might just pop out to the grocery store and pick up a box of Jiffy baking mix and let my daughter, the new Jiffy Queen, test it out. Corn bread and corn muffins are something my Irish palate has not yet grown accustomed to. Even if this American delicacy does not appeal to Mom and Dad, I know I should introduce my American kids to the grittiness and down home goodness of cornbread.

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Adopting the word “jiffy” and doing things more efficiently are probably key steps I must take towards my Americanization.

So in keeping with the theme of the day, I am wrapping up this little post, “in a jiffy”.


Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

Irish American Mom



  1. Hi Mairead,
    I would think being in the south you would have tried some great cornbread, usually the gritty dry cornbread is found up here in the north, kinda pitiful. I’d travel down south in a jiffy for some real cornbread though. That’s what i love about the States, there is always some food each one does better.
    Jiffy is one of those playful words, which makes it a good one for peanut butter, which to choose Jif or Skippy, both kinda make you smile when you say them. Though I like to imagine an Australian chap picking up a jar of Skippy peanut butter and wondering whats inside.

    • Brian – You are so right about some southern corn bread. A girl I worked with in Florida many years ago made the best corn bread ever – she even used real corn kernels and it was deliciously moist. I always regret not asking her for her recipe before I left Florida.
      I think I will have to try to recreate it sometime. Perhaps I should start a section for my favorite American recipes and not just focus on Irish food.
      All the best,

  2. Love this snapshot of learning to live in America!

  3. Love this post, Mairead! And I say go for it with creating the “jiffiness” word. Sounds good to me! :)

    By the way, I hope to get everything done in a jiffy today! :)

    • Cheryl – Trying to keep up with four kids I think not only my days go by in a jiffy, but the weeks are flying by too. So no more procrastinating and putting things on the long finger – everything will be “in a jiffy” from now on.

  4. This post brought a smile to my face! But I wouldn’t worry too much about introducing your kids to all things American- a lot of it is pretty unhealthy anyway. One of the things that makes me sad about my Great Granddad coming to America is that he quickly adapted to the American way of doing things and keep little of his ancestral history/ heritage to pass on. I say keep on with your delicious Irish food! :)

    • Aimee – Jiffy mix cornbread and Jiffy peanut butter are never on the menu at our house. My kids don’t like peanut butter for some reason, even though I have tried to introduce it to them many times. A PB&J sandwich is always a good reliable lunch, but not one of my four kids will eat one. They definitely do not have true American palates.
      Take care,

      • That’s good- for them! I think I read recently of another Irish child not liking peanut butter as well…Never thought of peanut butter as being ‘American’. What is a typical lunch for kids in Ireland? When my oldest went to school he frequently had PB&J, but since I’ve got them home all day now we usually always have leftovers. I think they wish I’d feed them sandwiches more often. :)

        • Aimee – Sandwiches would be a typical school lunch for an Irish child, usually ham or cheese, or I suppose sometimes you might even get ham and cheese! Peanut butter is seldom on an Irish sandwich menu. When my kids aren’t at school we do left overs too.

  5. Go on Mairead tell her it’s sausages and chips,

  6. Sorry Mairead, but I’m looking for your song choices,
    You know where,

  7. Hi, lovely to meet you. Thanks for visiting my space. I love to meet new bloggers. You have triplets? Congratulations. A friend of mine has triplets and they are about 10 years old now. You certainly found a lot of images of things with ‘jiffy’ in the name – who would have thought!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by. When I started looking for ‘jiffy’ images it was amazing how many I found. It really is a neat little word.
      Your friend with 10-year old triplets must appreciate how much easier life gets as they grow older and learn to do things for themselves. Our greatest achievement recently was graduating to booster seats in the car, with everyone strapping their own seat belts. You really learn to appreciate the little things in life as a mother of multiples.
      Best wishes and have a lovely weekend.

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