Anytime Soon – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a way to tell someone to lower their expectations around someone or something turning up? You could always use “anytime soon” to give them a timeline. This phrase has a dual meaning, and you probably hear it in conversation all the time.

Let’s unpack everything you need to know about this idiom’s meaning, origin, and use in conversation.

Meaning

The phrase “anytime soon” implies that you are not expecting a result in the near future. Anytime soon can have dual meanings, depending on how you use it in conversation.

It can also mean that you are waiting for the impending arrival of a person or event. However, the use of the former is more common than the latter.

By saying “anytime soon,” you’re referring to a timeframe, which could be referencing a long or short time period, depending on the context of the phrase in the conversation. In most cases, the use of anytime soon in American-English appears in negative questions or sentences.

Example Usage

“I don’t think we’re going to see Lee back at work anytime soon. He won the lottery last night.”

“I don’t think Dave will pay me back anytime soon.”

“There’s no chance that Nicole will be coming back anytime soon after she found out I was cheating on her.”

“I don’t think we can expect Karen to turn up anytime soon. She was talking about quitting yesterday.”

“I don’t think we’re going to make it around to Susan’s place anytime soon; we just have too much going on right now.?

Origin

There is no official explanation for when the term “anytime soon” originated in the English language. However, the word “anytime” first appeared in the English language in 1926. The original meaning of the word was that a person was willing to do a task at any time.

Anytime also has its origins as a contraction, commonly referred to as a casualism. While the word was frequently used in informal conversation, it’s a grammatically incorrect word in the original context. However, as grammar rules changes over the decades, anytime experienced integration into grammatically correct language.

The phrase gained popularity during the 70s and 80s, appearing in many films. One of the earliest uses of the word in entertainment comes from the 1991 movie “Predator.” In the film, one of the characters removes a scorpion from his squad members’ back using the tip of a knife, crushing it under his foot.

After the soldier thanks him for removing the scorpion, he replies with “anytime.” Thus, “anytime” has been used in the English language as an adverb. Adding “soon” to the word to form the phrase “anytime soon” was the natural development of the word and its use in modern language.

Phrases Similar to Anytime Soon

  • It’s never going to happen.
  • Just forget about it.
  • They won’t show up.

Phrases Opposite to Anytime Soon

  • It’s coming now.
  • It will be here in a minute.
  • Give it a second.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Anytime soon.

Ways People May Say Anytime Soon Incorrectly

You won’t use “anytime soon” to describe something that will happen in the near future. Typically, you’ll be referring to something that will never happen or will take a long time to happen.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Anytime Soon

You can use “anytime soon” in social and formal conversation when describing that you don’t expect something to happen in the near future. Typically, the phrase is a response to someone else asking you a question where you don’t have a timeframe to provide in your answer.

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