Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,585
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Trailing Unstressed "Already" in AmE

    I saw this phrase on a forum today, from an AmE native:

    1. Will you relax already!?

    which I take to be the equivalent in BrE of e.g.

    2. Will you just relax for one moment!?

    I've often noticed this AmE use of trailing "already". How does it work, exactly? When can you use it? And is it a recent usage?

    Thank you!

    MrP

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,649
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Trailing Unstressed "Already" in AmE

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    ...
    I've often noticed this AmE use of trailing "already". How does it work, exactly? When can you use it? And is it a recent usage?
    Thank you!
    MrP
    I'm not your best informant on AmE, but I'm sure it's not recent. Nathan Detroit says it in Guys and Dolls which dates it a bit - I don't know how far back exactly, but certainly before the revolution in Cuba. And I don't think it has anything to do with time. I suspect it's derived from a Yiddish expression. I'd translate it, if I had to, as 'for Heaven's sake' - it's a sentence intensifier.

    b

  3. #3
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4,142
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Trailing Unstressed "Already" in AmE

    BobK is correct, "already" originated as a Yiddish expression. It is used for emphasis, or to express exasperation. Sometimes we add "and be done with it" to add extra emphasis.

    "I really like John, but I don't know if he likes me..."
    "Why don't you just tell him how you feel already!"

    "That cheesecake looks so delicious, but I really shouldn't have any...."
    "Oh, just eat a piece already, and be done with it!"


  4. #4
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,585
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Trailing Unstressed "Already" in AmE

    Thank you very much, Bob and Ouisch!

    MrP

Similar Threads

  1. "already" and negation?
    By dihen in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Jan-2006, 13:21
  2. Unstressed Forms
    By Red5 in forum UsingEnglish.com Content
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 17-Nov-2003, 12:19

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •