Pert Near: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
October 19, 2023

"Pert near" is a fascinating phrase that essentially means "almost" or "nearly." It's a way to express that something is close to a particular state or condition. For instance, if you've almost finished a book, you might say you're "pert near" done. It's a term that adds a touch of regional flavor to a conversation, making it unique and relatable.

In short:

"Pert near" means "very close to" but not completely there yet.

What Does "Pert Near" Mean?

"Pert near" means very close to or almost. It implies something is nearing or approaching something else, but not quite yet. It's used when talking about being on the verge of reaching a goal, deadline, or destination but not having fully attained it. The phrase focuses on the word "near" and exaggerates its meaning by adding "pert," which functionally emphasizes the proximity being described.

Key aspects of the idiom's meaning:

  • The phrase is often used in informal spoken English, especially in Southern American English. It adds emphasis that something is very close or near but not completely there.
  • An example sentence using "pert near" is: "After driving all morning, we were pert near our vacation destination, just a few more miles to go." This stresses that they were very close but hadn't fully arrived yet.
  • Synonyms for "pert near" include "almost," "nearly," "close to," "on the verge of," and "practically."

Where Does "Pert Near" Come From?

The origin and history of the phrase "pert near" are not entirely clear, but it appears to be a colloquial contraction of "pretty near," meaning "almost" or "nearly." The phrase is commonly associated with regional dialects, particularly in the southern and midwestern United States. It's often used in informal speech and is considered a hallmark of certain regional vernaculars.

10 Examples of "Pert Near" in Sentences

Understanding an idiom is often easier when you see it used in context.

Here are ten sentences that incorporate "pert near":

  • I've finished pert near all of my chores for the day, if it weren't for mowing the lawn.
  • She was pert near tears after watching that emotional movie.
  • We're pert near out of milk; could you pick some up?
  • It's pert near impossible to get tickets to that concert now; it is what it is.
  • He's pert near the best player on the team.
  • The town is pert near the state border.
  • I think we're pert near ready to start the presentation.
  • It's pert near midnight, shouldn't you be in bed? Why are you so riled up?
  • Dinner is pert near done, just hang in there, I know you're hungry.
  • She's pert near the top of her class in terms of grades, she's always been the golden child.

These examples showcase the versatility of the idiom and how it can be used in various contexts to indicate proximity or nearness.

Examples of "Pert Near" in Pop Culture

The idiom "pert near" has made its mark in everyday conversations and popular culture.

Here are some instances where it has been referenced:

  • In the song "Country Boy" by Alan Jackson, the lyrics mention "pert near" to emphasize the singer's rural roots.
  • The TV show "King of the Hill," set in Texas, occasionally has characters using "pert near" in their dialogues, reflecting the regional dialect.
  • In the book "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck, the phrase is used to depict the colloquial language of the characters.
  • The movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" set in the American South, features characters who use "pert near" in their conversations.

These examples highlight the idiom's cultural significance and representation in various media forms.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Pert Near"

While "pert near" is a unique idiom with its own charm, there are other phrases and words that can convey a similar meaning.

Here are some alternatives:

  • Almost
  • Nearly
  • Just about
  • Close to
  • Practically
  • Nigh on
  • Virtually
  • More or less
  • Not quite
  • Approaching

These alternatives can be used in various contexts, depending on the nuance one wishes to convey.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Pert Near"

  • What does "pert near" mean?

It's a colloquial expression meaning "almost" or "nearly," often used in the southern parts of the United States.

  • Where did the idiom "pert near" originate?

The phrase is believed to be a contraction of "pretty near" and has roots in the American South.

  • Is "pert near" used in modern language?

Yes, while it's more common in certain regions, it's still used in modern language, especially in colloquial contexts.

  • Can "pert near" be used in formal writing?

It's typically considered informal, so it might not be suitable for formal writing or official documents.

  • Are there other idioms similar to "pert near"?

Yes, idioms like "just about" and "nigh on" convey similar meanings.

  • How can I incorporate "pert near" into my vocabulary?

Start by using it in casual conversations, especially when you want to emphasize that something is close to being a certain way.

  • Is "pert near" used outside of the United States?

While its origins are in the U.S., it might be understood in other English-speaking regions, but it's not as commonly used.

  • Why is understanding idioms like "pert near" important?

Idioms enrich language and provide cultural context. Understanding them can enhance communication and comprehension, especially in regional dialects.

  • Can "pert near" be used in a negative context?

Yes, like most idioms, its meaning can be adapted based on the context of the sentence.

  • Is "pert near" considered slang?

It's more of a colloquialism than slang, reflecting regional dialects and historical language use.

Final Thoughts About "Pert Near"

Idioms like "pert near" enrich the tapestry of language, offering glimpses into regional dialects, history, and culture. They serve as reminders of how language evolves, adapts, and reflects the nuances of different communities.

Here's a quick recap:

  • "Pert near" is a colloquialism meaning "almost" or "nearly."
  • It has its roots in the American South and is a contraction of "pretty near."
  • While it might not be common in formal writing, it's still widely used in casual conversations, especially in certain regions.
  • Understanding such idioms can enhance communication, especially when interacting with speakers from regions where the idiom is popular.

Embracing and understanding idioms like "pert near" can lead to richer, more nuanced conversations and a deeper appreciation for the diversity of the English language.

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