Is there any idiom or any suitable words for someone who works fast without paying attention to the quality?

6 Answers 6


"Quick and dirty"

l am not interested in a quick and dirty job. I want it done right. The contractor made a lot of money on quick and dirty projects that would never last very long.

  • 1
    "Quick and dirty" is an idiom, with a largely positive connotation.
    – Kris
    Commented Mar 2, 2014 at 9:53
  • @Mari-LouA fixed.
    – klis
    Commented Mar 2, 2014 at 10:22

The following phrase is a very well-known proverb and is often said in cases when we advise someone against rushing a task or performing it poorly.

If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well.

Proverb: If you decide to do something, do it as well as you possibly can

Bruce never did sloppy work. He believed that if something is worth doing, it's worth doing well.

A suitable word that describes someone who works fast but carelessly is the adjective slapdash

He gets his work done quickly, but he's very slapdash


I would simply reverse a common phrase and use, quantity over quality.


Shoveling is often used in this context: "he's just shoveling it out."


As an idiom: give something a lick and a promise

(American & Australian old-fashioned) to do a job or piece of work quickly and not carefully

We didn't have time to do much clearing up in the yard - just gave the grass a lick and a promise.

It is old-fashioned but it is still used today. Sometimes used as "a lick and a promise".

Also, as an idiom: once-over-lightly

1. Fig. a quick and careless treatment. (A noun. Said of an act of cleaning, studying, examination, or appraisal.)

Bill gave his geometry the once-over-lightly and then quit studying. Ann, you didn't wash the dishes properly. They only got a once-over-lightly.

2. Fig. cursory; in a quick and careless manner. (An adverb.)

Tom studied geometry once-over-lightly. Ann washed the dishes once-over-lightly.


You might say that they are doing sloppy or shoddy work. You could also describe them as a bodger, particularly if their job involves making or repairing something.

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