Tout Suite – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a way to tell someone to get you something immediately? If so, you could use the saying “tout suite” to ask them to hurry up. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.

Meaning

The expression “tout suite” means right away or immediately. The spelling of this saying can vary since it’s officially a French saying, with English adaptations. It’s common to find people spelling it as “toot sweet” or “tout sweet.” The official French is “tout de suite,” but Americans drop the “de” when using the saying.

If you say “tout suite” to someone, you’re asking them to hurry up, please. You’re telling them that you need them to bring you something or complete a task as fast as they can.

Example Usage

“Honey, finish up toot suite, or we’re going to be late for the opera.”

“I need you to get me that paperwork toot suite, or we’re going to miss the deadline, and the editor will be mad.”

“We’ll sort that out for your toot suite and have the car back on the road in no time, don’t worry about it.”

“She had that order here toot suite; I feel like we only ordered it five minutes ago.

“Let’s get to that toot suite; I don’t want to leave it hanging in the balance like this.”

Origin

The saying “tout suite” originates from the French language. The use of it in the English language in its current form comes from around the time of WWI. This event changed history, sending soldiers from America visiting nations in Europe and Asia.

Toot suite” or “Toot sweet” comes from the adjusted French phrase, “tout de suite,” meaning “right away” or “immediately.”

During WWI, few American soldiers could speak French. However, many picked up specific French terms that caught their attention. One of them was “tout de suite,” which they brought back to America as “tout sweet,” or “tout suite.”

The phrase was not English, so it went through several spelling variations over the years. Arthur Empey was the first to use it in writing in “Over the top,” published in 1917, appearing as “Toots Sweet.”

The 1968 movie “Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang” includes a song in the soundtrack called “Toot Sweets.” Due to the movie’s success, candy manufacturers would produce a line of confectionery named “Toot Sweets,” which were sugar whistles.

Phrases Similar to Tout Suite

  • Right now.
  • Immediately.
  • I needed it yesterday.

Phrases Opposite to Tout Suite

  • Take your time.
  • No rush.
  • Do it later.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Tout suite.
  • Tout de suite.

Ways People May Say Tout Suite Incorrectly

Some people may use the phrase “tout suite” incorrectly. The saying has nothing to do with “tooting” or hotel suites. The spelling “toot suite” is actually incorrect and the correct use of the phrase is “toot de suite.” However, As the American language tends to shorten everything, and no one using the expression usually speaks French, the shortened version is now the more popular.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Tout Suite

You can use the phrase “tout suite” when you’re telling people that you want something done immediately. The expression is suitable for use in social and professional situations when you’re telling people you need something done right away or when you’re telling them to hurry up. If you’re at the office, you could tell your secretary to bring you a file “tout suite.” Or, if you’re at home, you could tell your partner to hurry up “tout suite” to make your reservation at the restaurant.

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