Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
spon•ta•ne•i•ty(ˌspɒn təˈni ɪ ti, -ˈneɪ-)
n., pl. -ties.
off the cuff Extempore, on the spur of the moment, spontaneously, impromptu; offhandedly, informally, unofficially. The allusion is to speakers whose only preparation is notes jotted on their shirt cuffs. Of U.S. origin, this expression dates from at least 1938.
In that scene, shot off the cuff in a shockingly bad light, there leapt out of the screen … something of the real human guts and dignity. (Penguin New Writing, 1944)
off the top of one’s head Offhandedly, unofficially, informally, without notes or preparation, extemporaneously. In this expression, the top of the head represents the superficial nature of the information being given. Webster’s Third cites Goodman Ace’s use of the expression:
Countless conferences at which everyone talked off the top of their heads.
on the spur of the moment Impulsively, impetuously; spontaneously, extemporaneously; suddenly, without deliberation. In this expression, spur implies speed, alluding to the sharp, U-shaped device strapped to the heel of a boot and used by a rider to prod a horse.
A speaker who gives us a ready reply upon the spur of the moment. (Robert Blakely, Free-will, 1831)
wing it To undertake anything without adequate preparation, usually with connotations of bluffing one’s way through. The term originated in the theater, with reference to actors who would go on stage without knowing their lines, relying on the prompters in the wings to get them through. This literal usage appears as early as 1886 in Stage Gossip.
|Noun||1.||spontaneity - the quality of being spontaneous and coming from natural feelings without constraint; "the spontaneity of his laughter"|
naturalness - the quality of being natural or based on natural principles; "he accepted the naturalness of death"; "the spontaneous naturalness of his manner"