• When I need to visit to any place for a very short time, say, for 10-15 minutes
  • A politician coming late and leaving in minutes at a fundraiser.
  • An acquaintance just dropping by to say Hello.
  • A supporting actor

Phrases such as "drop by," "drop in," "come over, etc. come to mind"

What kind of phrases do we associate with such a short filmsy appearances.

Is there a single word?

  • 2
    You can say he made a cameo appearance (most typically applied in your "supporting actor" scenario). – Dan Bron Feb 27 '15 at 18:26
  • Oh!, I was missing that "cameo" word, else I would have written, "a supporting actor in a cameo role". Many Thanks! – adityasrivastav Feb 27 '15 at 18:28

A few choices-

I like the expression - an abbreviated visit- though I have not heard of this phrase before and could not find much reference.

And for the supporting cast- Cameo- the suggestion by Dan Bron definitely appears the most suitable.

  • If you are fond of cricket, you would hear of "cameos" by batsmen, which is a brief but quick-scoring innings.
  • 1
    +1 This is my favorite answer. I have a suggestion for one additional bullet point. As an American English speaker in the Northeast US, I hear the phrase "pop in" used quite often when someone is talking about a short social visit to a person's home. – Lumberjack Feb 27 '15 at 19:39

You're describing a flying visit, it might also be pro forma or perfunctory, depending on why it is short.


Another couple options:

"swing by" or "swing round" - These give the impression of just stopping in for a short period of time.

"look in on" - Gives the impression of just checking up on someone/something and as soon as the curiosity is satisfied, the querier will be on their way.


protected by tchrist Mar 7 '15 at 20:17

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