Not Any Time Soon: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
August 3, 2023

The phrase “not anytime soon” means that something is not going to happen in the near future. It is usually used as an understatement, implying that the speaker thinks that it will probably never happen. The phrase often describes a long-lasting situation that will not go away quickly. If interpreted literally, the phrase does not rule out the possibility that the event might happen at some point later on.

In short:

  • "Not anytime soon" refers to something not happening in the near future.
  • It implies a delay or a significant waiting period before an event takes place.

What Does "Not Anytime Soon" Mean?

The phrase "not anytime soon" means that something is unlikely to happen in the near future or at any imminent time. It suggests a delay or waiting period before a particular event or action occurs. It's a polite way of saying something is unlikely to happen soon without being too direct or blunt.

Let's delve into its essential meanings and usage:

  • "Not anytime soon" is a phrase used to describe a situation where an event or action is not likely to happen soon or in the foreseeable future.
  • It is commonly used when expressing uncertainty about when something will happen, indicating that it might take a while before the event occurs.
  • You can use "not anytime soon" when discussing timelines and plans. For instance, if someone asks whether you are planning to buy a new car, you might say, "Not anytime soon," to express that you have no immediate plans for such a purchase.
  • Similar phrases to "not anytime soon" include "not in the near future," "not for a while," "not soon," and "not in a hurry."

Where Does "Not Anytime Soon" Come From?

The phrase "not anytime soon" is a relatively modern expression used predominantly in spoken English. It is thought to have originated in the 19th century. The earliest recorded use of the phrase was in the 1820s. The phrase is thought to be a combination of the phrases "not anytime" and "not soon." Though the exact origin of this phrase is unclear, it is commonly used in various contexts to communicate that something isn't expected to happen in the immediate future.

Historical Example

"Well, maybe, but probably not anytime soon. The recent congressional action means the post office will not be able to offer any rate discounts to nine-digit Zip users before late 1983."

- Computerworld, Aug 24, 1981

10 Examples of "Not Anytime Soon" in Sentences

To offer a better understanding of how to use this phrase, let's explore some examples in diverse contexts:

  • Given the current financial situation, they won't be moving to their new home not anytime soon.
  • Not anytime soon will we see a change in the prevailing political climate.
  • She decided to let it be and not interfere with his life. She knew that he would not change his ways anytime soon.
  • Despite the recent advancements, a fully autonomous car driving on the roads is not anytime soon.
  • I'm not planning to tap into my savings. Not anytime soon, at least.
  • About last night, we won't see such a performance again, not anytime soon.
  • They had hoped for an early resolution to the conflict, but it seemed that peace would not arrive anytime soon.
  • The car got repoed, and it seems it won't be back with us. Not anytime soon.
  • The doctor confirmed that while he was making progress, he would not be discharged from the hospital anytime soon.
  • He asked her what were the odds of them meeting again. She said not anytime soon.

Examples of "Not Anytime Soon" in Pop Culture

The phrase "not anytime soon" often surfaces in pop culture, usually signifying a delay or uncertain waiting period.

Let's examine some examples:

  • The book "Not Anytime Soon – The Life & Times of Linda Chamberlain" is a compelling biography that tells the story of Linda Chamberlain's life.
  • Ronny Jones, an artist on Spotify, has a song titled "Not Anytime Soon."
  • The phrase that appears in the lyrics of the song "Monkeys At The Zoo" by Charlie Peacock.
  • An article titled "When Can We Stop Masking Against Covid-19? Not Anytime Soon," published on Forbes, discusses the ongoing need for masking amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other/Different Ways to Say "Not Anytime Soon"

Various other expressions can convey a meaning similar to "not anytime soon."

Here are some of them:

  • Not in the near future
  • Not for a while
  • Not soon
  • Not shortly
  • Not in the foreseeable future
  • Not in a hurry
  • Not anytime in the near future
  • Not at any imminent time
  • Not before long
  • Not in the immediate future

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Not Anytime Soon":

  • What does "not anytime soon" mean?

"Not anytime soon" indicates that something is not likely to happen in the near future or immediately.

  • How can I use "not anytime soon" in a sentence?

You can use "not anytime soon" to express a delay or a longer waiting period for an event or action. For example, "Rest assured, we won't be leaving this town, not anytime soon."

  • Can "not anytime soon" be used in formal contexts?

Yes, "not anytime soon" can be used in both informal and formal contexts, like conversations and formal reports or news articles, to denote a delay or extended time frame.

  • Is "not anytime soon" negative?

"Not anytime soon" can imply a negative tone if it refers to an undesirable delay or postponement, but it is neutral and depends on the context in which it is used.

  • Can "not anytime soon" refer to past events?

No, "not anytime soon" typically refers to future events, indicating that they will not occur in the near future.

  • Is "not anytime soon" a common phrase in English?

Yes, "not anytime soon" is a common phrase used in English-speaking countries to indicate a delay or the unlikelihood of an event happening in the near future.

  • Does "not anytime soon" always refer to a long delay?

No, "not anytime soon" simply indicates that something is not going to happen immediately or in the near future. The exact length of the delay is not specified and can vary based on context.

  • Can "not anytime soon" be used in questions?

Yes, it can be used in questions. For example, "Do you think we'll get to travel not anytime soon?"

  • Is "not anytime soon" an idiom?

While "not anytime soon" is not traditionally considered an idiom, it is a commonly used phrase in English that conveys a specific meaning beyond the literal meanings of the individual words.

  • Can "not anytime soon" be used in a positive way?

Yes, "not anytime soon" can be used in a positive way if it refers to the delay or avoidance of an undesirable event. For example, "I'm not going to give up not anytime soon."

Final Thoughts About "Not Anytime Soon"

The phrase "not anytime soon" is commonly used in conversational English to indicate that something is unlikely to happen in the near future. It suggests that an event, activity, or development will take a long time before it comes to fruition if it ever does at all. In essence, "not anytime soon" means something is not expected to happen quickly or in the foreseeable future.

Here's a quick recap:

  • "Not anytime soon" suggests an unspecified delay or longer waiting period.
  • The phrase can be used in various situations, such as planning, forecasting, or discussing future events.
  • It does not necessarily carry a negative connotation—it depends on the context and the event or action being referred to.

In both personal and professional communication, it's useful to have phrases like "not anytime soon" at your disposal. They provide a simple and effective way to express uncertainty about future events, which is an inevitable part of human life.

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