“We’ll do it in a…”

Today in my mathematics class my lecturer used a phrase I am very familiar with, and I suspect many others may be familiar with too. However, when thinking about how one would write a particular word in this phrase I became perplexed, and am wondering if anyone else knows how to write it.

The phrase is:

“We’ll do the final few steps in a one-ner.”

The final word is written as it is pronounced. Are others familiar with this word, and does anyone know how it would be written? I doubt it’s in the dictionary (I’ve checked under multiple potential spellings), but it seems to be a common word (I am Scottish, so perhaps this is a regional question).


Wiktionary has the following entry:

in a one-er (not comparable)
(informal) in one attempt
You can probably empty your glass in a one-er, there’s not much left.

In a oner is given as an alternative form, and Oxford Dictionaries Online has oner. I would tend to go with oner, since (1) it looks more authentic, (2) it’s in the Oxford Dictionary, and (3) one-er reminds me of an uninformed person’s attempt at translating it from spoken to written English.

It appears to be a British term, which is probably why I wasn’t familiar with it.

The only way I can possibly make a stab at guessing which is more popular is by Google, so the rest of this answer isn’t worth all that much… “in a oner” has 448 results and “in a one-er” has 356.

Source : Link , Question Author : dplanet , Answer Author : Daniel

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