Top 36 Slang For Intermittently – Meaning & Usage

Ever find yourself searching for the right word to describe something that happens on and off, in a sporadic manner? Look no further! We’ve got you covered with a list of slang terms that perfectly capture the essence of acting intermittently. So, whether you’re trying to spice up your conversations or stay in the loop with the latest lingo, this listicle is your go-to guide for all things related to acting intermittently. Get ready to level up your slang game and impress your friends with these trendy expressions!

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1. On and off

This phrase is used to describe something that happens intermittently or irregularly. It suggests that something is not continuous or consistent.

  • For example, “I’ve been working on this project on and off for the past month.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been feeling sick on and off for the past few days.”
  • Someone might describe their relationship as, “We’ve been dating on and off for the past year.”

2. Sporadically

This word is used to describe something that occurs at irregular intervals or in an unpredictable manner. It implies that there is no set pattern or frequency.

  • For instance, “I’ve been going to the gym sporadically, sometimes once a week and sometimes not at all.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been checking my emails sporadically, so I may have missed some important messages.”
  • Someone might describe their sleep patterns as, “I’ve been sleeping sporadically lately, waking up multiple times during the night.”

3. Off and on

This phrase is used to describe something that happens intermittently or with breaks in between. It suggests that something occurs for a period of time, then stops, and then starts again.

  • For example, “I’ve been studying off and on for the exam, taking breaks when I need to.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been experiencing back pain off and on for the past few months.”
  • Someone might describe their internet connection as, “It’s been going off and on all day, making it difficult to work.”

4. Every now and then

This phrase is used to describe something that happens occasionally or from time to time. It suggests that something occurs infrequently or irregularly.

  • For instance, “I like to treat myself to a piece of chocolate every now and then.”
  • A person might say, “I see my old high school friends every now and then when we’re in the same town.”
  • Someone might describe their car troubles as, “The engine stalls every now and then, but I haven’t figured out why.”

5. In fits and starts

This phrase is used to describe something that happens in an irregular and unsteady manner. It suggests that something occurs in short bursts or periods of activity followed by periods of inactivity.

  • For example, “I’ve been writing my novel in fits and starts, sometimes writing several chapters in one sitting and then not touching it for weeks.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been exercising in fits and starts, going to the gym regularly for a few weeks and then taking a break.”
  • Someone might describe their productivity as, “I’ve been working on this project in fits and starts, making progress and then getting stuck.”

6. By fits and starts

This phrase is used to describe something that occurs in a sporadic or unpredictable manner.

  • For example, “The project progressed by fits and starts, with periods of intense work followed by long periods of inactivity.”
  • A person might say, “My motivation to exercise comes and goes by fits and starts.”
  • In a discussion about a musician’s career, someone might mention, “Their success came by fits and starts, with a few big hits followed by periods of obscurity.”

7. Hit or miss

This phrase is used to describe something that is inconsistent or unreliable in its outcomes or results.

  • For instance, “The restaurant’s service can be hit or miss, sometimes it’s excellent and other times it’s terrible.”
  • Someone might say, “I tried online dating, but it was hit or miss – some dates were great, others were awful.”
  • In a discussion about a sports team’s performance, a fan might comment, “Their offense is hit or miss, they either score a lot of points or none at all.”

8. Now and again

This phrase is used to describe something that happens from time to time, but not regularly or frequently.

  • For example, “I like to indulge in a piece of chocolate now and again as a treat.”
  • A person might say, “I go hiking in the mountains now and again to enjoy nature.”
  • In a discussion about a TV show, someone might mention, “I catch up on episodes now and again, but I’m not a regular viewer.”

9. In spurts

This phrase is used to describe something that occurs in short bursts or periods of activity, with intervals of inactivity in between.

  • For instance, “The child’s energy comes in spurts – they’ll play intensely for a few minutes, then rest.”
  • Someone might say, “I work on my novel in sporadic spurts of inspiration.”
  • In a discussion about productivity, a person might comment, “I find that I can concentrate better if I work in short spurts with breaks in between.”

10. In snatches

This phrase is used to describe something that happens briefly or for a short period of time.

  • For example, “I caught snippets of the conversation in snatches as I walked by.”
  • A person might say, “I can only read the book in snatches during my commute.”
  • In a discussion about a busy schedule, someone might mention, “I try to fit in exercise in snatches throughout the day.”

11. In dribs and drabs

This phrase is used to describe something that occurs or is done in small, sporadic amounts or intervals.

  • For example, “The information was trickling in dribs and drabs.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been working on the project in dribs and drabs, but I need to make more progress.”
  • Another example could be, “The rain was falling in dribs and drabs throughout the day.”

12. By fits and jerks

This phrase is used to describe something that happens in a sporadic and unpredictable manner.

  • For instance, “The power was going on and off by fits and jerks.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been trying to fix the computer, but it’s only working by fits and jerks.”
  • Another example could be, “The car engine was running by fits and jerks, indicating a mechanical issue.”

13. By snatches

This phrase is used to describe something that occurs in short and interrupted intervals.

  • For example, “He could only catch snippets of the conversation by snatches.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been studying for the exam by snatches, but I need to dedicate more time.”
  • Another example could be, “I’ve been reading the book by snatches during my commute.”

14. In snatches and snatches

This phrase is similar to “by snatches” and is used to describe something that occurs in brief and interrupted intervals.

  • For instance, “He could only hear parts of the speech in snatches and snatches.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been working on the project in snatches and snatches, but I need to focus more.”
  • Another example could be, “The radio signal was coming in snatches and snatches, making it difficult to listen to the broadcast.”

15. By jerks and starts

This phrase is used to describe something that happens in a sporadic and uneven manner.

  • For example, “The car was moving forward by jerks and starts.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been trying to learn the dance routine, but I can only do it by jerks and starts.”
  • Another example could be, “The project progress was happening by jerks and starts, causing delays.”

16. In starts and fits

This phrase is used to describe something that happens or occurs in a sporadic or inconsistent manner.

  • For example, “The engine would start and then stop in starts and fits.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been working on this project, but progress has been happening in starts and fits.”
  • Another example could be, “The internet connection was working in starts and fits, making it difficult to stream videos.”

17. By spells

This phrase is used to describe something that occurs or happens in short periods or intervals.

  • For instance, “He would feel better by spells and then get sick again.”
  • A person might say, “I can only concentrate on my work by spells, and then my mind wanders.”
  • Another example could be, “The rain would come and go by spells, making it hard to plan outdoor activities.”

18. In patches

This phrase is used to describe something that occurs or happens in inconsistent or uneven intervals.

  • For example, “The Wi-Fi signal was only available in patches, making it difficult to browse the internet.”
  • A person might say, “My motivation to exercise comes in patches – some days I’m really motivated, and other days I just want to relax.”
  • Another example could be, “The sun was shining in patches, creating a beautiful play of light and shadow.”

19. By spells and starts

This phrase is used to describe something that happens or occurs intermittently or in a stop-start manner.

  • For instance, “The car would run smoothly by spells and starts.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been trying to learn a new skill, but progress has been happening by spells and starts.”
  • Another example could be, “The TV reception was working by spells and starts, causing the picture to flicker.”

20. In bits and pieces

This phrase is used to describe something that happens or occurs in small or incomplete portions.

  • For example, “The information was revealed in bits and pieces, making it hard to understand the full story.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been trying to assemble this furniture, but the instructions are only in bits and pieces.”
  • Another example could be, “The project was completed in bits and pieces, with different team members contributing at different times.”

21. In pieces and patches

This phrase is used to describe something that happens in a fragmented or inconsistent manner.

  • For example, “My internet connection is in pieces and patches today, it keeps cutting out.”
  • A person might say, “His attention span is in pieces and patches, he can’t focus for long.”
  • Another might describe their work progress, “I’ve been working on this project in pieces and patches, it’s been hard to find consistent time to dedicate to it.”

22. In flashes

This phrase is used to describe something that occurs quickly and briefly, with breaks in between.

  • For instance, “The lightning lit up the sky in flashes.”
  • A person might say, “Inspiration comes to me in flashes, I have to capture it quickly.”
  • Another might describe a memory, “I remember my childhood in flashes, certain moments stand out vividly.”

23. Off and on like a light switch

This phrase is used to describe something that happens with frequent stops and starts, similar to flicking a light switch on and off.

  • For example, “The power was going off and on like a light switch during the storm.”
  • A person might say, “Our relationship has been off and on like a light switch, we can’t seem to make it work.”
  • Another might describe their productivity, “Some days I’m focused and productive, other days it’s off and on like a light switch.”

24. By fits and snatches

This phrase is used to describe something that happens in irregular or sporadic bursts, often with breaks in between.

  • For instance, “I’ve been studying for the exam by fits and snatches, it’s been hard to find consistent time.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been writing my novel by fits and snatches, whenever inspiration strikes.”
  • Another might describe their sleep, “I’ve been sleeping by fits and snatches, waking up multiple times throughout the night.”

25. In starts and stops

This phrase is used to describe something that happens with breaks or interruptions, often in an inconsistent or irregular manner.

  • For example, “The car engine was running in starts and stops, it needs to be checked.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been exercising in starts and stops, it’s hard to maintain a consistent routine.”
  • Another might describe their progress, “My work on the project has been in starts and stops, I keep getting distracted.”

26. In stops and starts

This phrase describes something that happens on and off, with pauses or breaks in between.

  • For example, “The project progressed in stops and starts, with frequent delays.”
  • A person might say, “My internet connection is so unreliable, it’s in stops and starts.”
  • Another might describe their studying habits as, “I work in stops and starts, taking breaks every few minutes.”

27. In snips and snaps

This phrase implies that something happens occasionally or in short bursts, without a consistent pattern.

  • For instance, “The rain came in snips and snaps throughout the day.”
  • A person might say, “I only catch snippets of the news, so I’m always out of the loop.”
  • Another might describe their productivity as, “I can only focus in snips and snaps, so it takes me longer to get things done.”

28. In snatches and snips

This phrase suggests that something occurs irregularly or in small portions, without continuity.

  • For example, “He only caught snatches and snips of the conversation, so he couldn’t understand the full context.”
  • A person might say, “I can only work on my project in snatches and snips, between other tasks.”
  • Another might describe their memory as, “I can only recall snatches and snips of what happened that day.”

29. In fits and snatches

This phrase indicates that something happens in short bursts or irregular intervals, with no consistent pattern.

  • For instance, “She could only sleep in fits and snatches, waking up every few minutes.”
  • A person might say, “I can only remember that event in fits and snatches, it’s all a blur.”
  • Another might describe their attention span as, “I can only pay attention in fits and snatches, I easily get distracted.”

30. In snips and snatches

This phrase suggests that something occurs in short bursts or fragments, with breaks or interruptions.

  • For example, “The music played in snips and snatches, fading in and out.”
  • A person might say, “I can only catch snips and snatches of the conversation, it’s too noisy.”
  • Another might describe their reading habits as, “I read in snips and snatches, picking up the book whenever I have free time.”

31. In starts and snips

This phrase is used to describe something that happens or occurs in a sporadic or intermittent manner.

  • For example, “He would show up to work in starts and snips, often arriving late and leaving early.”
  • A person might say, “I can only work on this project in starts and snips, as I have other commitments.”
  • In a conversation about someone’s studying habits, one might comment, “She only studies in starts and snips, which is not very effective.”

32. In starts and snatches

This phrase is used to describe something that happens or occurs intermittently or irregularly.

  • For instance, “The internet connection at my house comes and goes in starts and snatches.”
  • A person might say, “I can only concentrate on my work in starts and snatches, as I get easily distracted.”
  • In a discussion about someone’s exercise routine, one might say, “He only goes to the gym in starts and snatches, which is not very consistent.”

33. In starts and snaps

This phrase is used to describe something that happens or occurs periodically or spasmodically.

  • For example, “The car engine would run in starts and snaps, making it difficult to drive.”
  • A person might say, “I can only focus on my reading in starts and snaps, as my mind keeps wandering.”
  • In a conversation about someone’s sleep pattern, one might comment, “He only sleeps in starts and snaps, which affects his overall restfulness.”

34. In snaps and starts

This phrase is used to describe something that happens or occurs intermittently or fitfully.

  • For instance, “The rain would fall in snaps and starts, making it difficult to plan outdoor activities.”
  • A person might say, “I can only work on this project in snaps and starts, as I keep getting interrupted.”
  • In a discussion about someone’s productivity, one might say, “She only works in snaps and starts, which is not very efficient.”

35. On occasion

This phrase is used to describe something that happens or occurs sometimes or from time to time.

  • For example, “He enjoys going out to eat on occasion, but prefers cooking at home.”
  • A person might say, “I can only tolerate spicy food on occasion, as it upsets my stomach.”
  • In a conversation about someone’s travel habits, one might comment, “She only travels on occasion, as she prefers staying close to home.”

36. On the fly

This phrase is used to describe doing something quickly or spontaneously, without prior planning or preparation.

  • For example, “I had to come up with a solution on the fly because I didn’t have time to think about it.”
  • In a work setting, someone might say, “We had to make changes on the fly to meet the client’s last-minute requests.”
  • A traveler might say, “I booked my accommodations on the fly because I decided to extend my trip at the last minute.”
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