How Did the Jiffy Get its Name, What Does it Mean, and How Long is a Moment?

When we use moment or jiffy, as in “I’ll be back in a moment” or “She’ll be with you in a jiffy,” we usually mean in an undefined but brief period of time, but in fact, both have a precise length.

Although lost through time, a moment was originally an English reference for ninety seconds.

While a jiffy is from science and is one one-hundredth of a second, the time it takes light in a vacuum to travel one centimeter.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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