With a crack like a whip, Dobby vanished.

I'm studying English using the Harry Potter books. I can't seem to find this expression in any dictionary, however. Google returns no results at all (except for Harry Potter itself and one other, unknown, piece of writing).

So, is this a commonly used and/or existing and/or correct expression?

  • I think this is General Reference/Not Constructive. The meaning of "crack" here is trivial, given that one of the main purposes of a whip is to make a sudden cracking sound. And I don't think there's any point in ELU pontificating over exactly how common transparent expressions like this are. – FumbleFingers Feb 5 '13 at 19:31
  • You are right. This is my mistake. I should've seen it myself... – Kevin Keunen Feb 5 '13 at 19:40
  • We all sometimes fail to see the obvious, so I don't have a problem with the fact of you asking the question. I just think things like this should be answered in comments, and the question closed. – FumbleFingers Feb 5 '13 at 19:45

It's a perfectly correct expression, but not very common in that form, perhaps because not many things crack like a whip! It's as good a simile as any though.

  • That's what I thought. My fault! – Kevin Keunen Feb 5 '13 at 19:23
  • And crack as the name of the sound a whip makes is well attested. So whip crack-away, whip crack-away, whip crack-away! – Jon Hanna Feb 5 '13 at 23:41

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