Is "quick on one's toes" a true English idiom? What does it mean?

I did a search and all Google returned is "be quick on one's feet".

I am not sure if I can replace feet with toes in idiomatic expressions.

If so, can it be use synonymously with "wit/quick on uptake/on the draw"?

  • quick and subtile, maybe
    – Archa
    Jun 24, 2016 at 0:29
  • 3
    Would you please post some context for this phrase, like a complete sentence where you've seen it? I've usually heard "quick on his toes", not "quick on toes".
    – Ben Kovitz
    Jun 24, 2016 at 0:31
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    If you do a Google search for "quick on toes meaning", the first few results should suggest what it means.
    – stangdon
    Jun 24, 2016 at 1:40
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    @LittleAlien - Your comment is rude, insulting, and unhelpful. You did not indicate if you had done any research at all before asking, so your attitude is completely unwarranted.
    – stangdon
    Jun 24, 2016 at 11:27
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    @LittleAlien - If you don't want folks to ask what research you've already done, then provide some clues. Our details, please meta post explains why and provides more information. The tour page for every Stack Exchange site clearly makes this request: Include details about what you have tried. It's nice that you've included some of those details in a comment; I've taken the liberty of editing that information into your question, where others can find it more easily.
    – J.R.
    Jun 24, 2016 at 15:30

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is a slang idiom from south-east England.

It simply means to run away.

If someone says to you "be quick on your toes" or "have it on your toes". It is a suggestion to leave quickly.

As for it being used in the sense of wit/quick on the uptake or draw, I would say no, they are completely different.

  • Do you ever use it synanimically with "wit/quick on uptake/on the draw"? Jun 24, 2016 at 9:04

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