Say, you'd been expecting a call and the person suddenly calls. Is there a word that feels more 'rushed' than pick up? I checked Thesaurus but none of the synonyms seems to fit the purpurse.


From en.wiktionary, snatch means “To grasp quickly. [eg] He snatched up the phone”. Related senses of this verb include:
• To attempt to seize something suddenly; to catch
• To grasp and remove quickly
• To do something quickly due to limited time available
• To take or seize hastily, abruptly, or without permission or ceremony

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You can say that you grabbed the phone.

Merriam-Webster has the following definitions for grab:

  • to quickly take and hold (someone or something) with your hand or arms

  • to take or get (something) in a quick and informal way

  • to take or seize by or as if by a sudden motion or grasp

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  • Geez, I was updating my answer to include this also. But we can say that this generally means "taking quickly" instead of "picking up quickly". – ermanen Nov 24 '14 at 4:01

Similar to @jwpat7's "snatch", but with sillier overtones, there is snag:

snag (Infoplease): to grab; seize; "to snag the last piece of pie"

snag (Cambridge ACD): to obtain or catch something by acting quickly. "I hoped to snag a good job."

And, of course, ever since season four of the Simpsons, we've that lovely little word: "YOINK!"

Bart Simpson *yoinking* Kent Brockman's danish
(source: nytmare.org)

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You can use the verb scoop (up).

to pick up (something or someone) in one quick, continuous motion [MW]


He scooped the phone up. “Can't you people leave me alone for even a little while?” he shouted angrily.

[Needful Things: The Last Castle Rock Story By Stephen King]

Note: I admit that this is less common than to grab (the phone) but more precise for the meaning.

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