'anon'?

8 replies
Anonymous:
Hello,

Thanks to excellent context clues I've recently learnt that 'anon' is used as an abbreviation for 'anonymous'. I used to think the word meant 'coming' (as an answer to a call), as used by Shakespeare (see e.g. "Romeo and Juliet"). I wonder if the compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary have found out about the new meaning of the word 'anon'. My definition is probably already labelled archaic.
Hello,

I would hope that dictionaries recognise anon as an abbreviation of anonymous.

Regarding the old use of 'anon' it doesn't exactly mean 'coming' (although it does often seem that way). Anon means 'at some unspecified future time' so when they say 'anon' it's like us saying 'see you later!' or 'soon!'.
Veteran Member11,782
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FWIW, on the "classic" use of "anon":

=
anon

1 archaic : at once : IMMEDIATELY, FORTHWITH<he that heareth the word and anon with joy receiveth it -- Mt 13:20 (Authorized Version)> -- used especially to express prompt response to a request or a summons

2 : in a little while: a : SOON, PRESENTLY<thou dost me yet but little hurt; thou wilt anon -- Shakespeare> b : LATER<but more of that anon>

3 : at another time : AGAIN, THEN<on hill sometimes, anon in shady vale -- John Milton> <ever and anon> <now and anon>


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Anonymous:
Hi Nona the Brit,

You wrote:


Hello,

Regarding the old use of 'anon' it doesn't exactly mean 'coming' (although it does often seem that way). Anon means 'at some unspecified future time' so when they say 'anon' it's like us saying 'see you later!' or 'soon!'.

There are some glossaries to support my view. If I remember it correctly 'anon' was used in that sense in the first scene of "Romeo and Juliet".
Hello,

I thought I just may post this as I found the evidence I was thinking of regarding my definition of the word 'anon' (the one Nona was trying to refute). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, 'anon' refers to 1 In or into one body, state, course, etc.; 2 At once, instantly; 3 Soon, in a short time; for a little; 4 As interjection. (To a person calling for attention) in a moment! coming! Also, at your service!; what did you say? eh? 5 Now again; now at this time.

The word entered the English language in sense 4 in the mid sixteenth century, and has been used by many important authors. Please see some quotes below:

Shakespeare, in Henry IV: Francis! .. Anon, anon, sir.

C. J. Lever: 'Such little events are not unfrequent down here, then?' 'Anan!' said she, not understanding his question.

Note the alternative spelling used by Lever.

I should also mention that 'anon' as an abbreviation of 'anonymous' is not found in the OED.
Regular Member717
Well, I'm knocking on 70 yrs old and I can cheerfully say that I've never heard or read anyone using anon to mean coming - except of course in Shakespeare plays.

However ever since my early schooldays more than fifty years ago, anon was readily recognisable as anonymous whatever the OED says.
Full Member303
Alan.es However ever since my early schooldays more than fifty years ago, anon was readily recognisable as anonymous whatever the OED says.
How come the compilers of the OED have missed this one?
They obviously never consulted me [:-O]

It's probably listed amongst abbreviations.
Anonymous:
HELLO

IN SHAKESPEAREAN LANGUAGE THAT MEANS SHORTLY AFTER
BUT IN PLAIN ENGLISH IT PROBABLY IS SHORT FOR ANONYMOUS.

LATER,
LIZZIE
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