Too little, too late

Crunch time – a critical moment or period (as near the end of a game or a deadline) when decisive action is needed. First known use: 1976. Example: The team had trained well, but at crunch time they just couldn’t perform.

In the nick of time – at the right or vital moment, usually at the last possible moment. The word nick refers to notches made in tally sticks that were used for measurement or score-keeping. First known use: Arthur Day’s Festivals in 1615. Example: The fire engines arrived in the nick of time.

Time is money – time is worth money. Similar maxims have been found as far back as 430 B.C. in ancient Greece, however this particular wording is attributed to Benjamin Franklin in his essay Advice to a Young Tradesman.

Time is of the essence – a phrase which, when used in American contracts, indicates that any delay, reasonable or not, will be grounds for cancelling the agreement.

Too little, too late – the action came too late, and/or was too limited, to be effective. The phrase originated in the U.S. in 1935, when historian Allan Nevins wrote in the May 1935 issue of Current History, “The former allies have blundered in the past by offering Germany too little, and offering that too late.”