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Alternative forms[edit]


From eft (again, after) +‎ soon +‎ -s (adverb suffix) – both senses (“soon after”, “again”) derive from senses of eft, which is related to after.


eftsoons (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Once again; another time. [11th–17th c.]
    • 1357, John Mandeville, The Travels of Sir John Mandeville[1], modernized spelling edition:
      And every day, when the convent of this abbey hath eaten, the almoner let bear the relief to the garden, and he smiteth on the garden gate with a clicket of silver that he holdeth in his hand; and anon all the beasts of the hill and of diverse places of the garden come out a 3000, or a 4000; and they come in guise of poor men, and men give them the relief in fair vessels of silver, clean over-gilt. And when they have eaten, the monk smiteth eftsoons on the garden gate with the clicket, and then anon all the beasts return again to their places that they come from..
  2. (now archaic) Soon after, presently. [from 13th c.]
    • 1568, Erasmus Roterodamus; N. L., transl., A Modest Meane to Mariage, Pleasauntly set foorth, Henrie Denham:
      But wil you giue me leaue now eftsones a while to play the Sophister his part with you?
    • 1579, Immeritô [pseudonym; Edmund Spenser], “Februarie. Aegloga Se[c]unda.”, in The Shepheardes Calender: [], London: [] Hugh Singleton, [], →OCLC; republished as The Shepheardes Calender [], London: [] Iohn Wolfe for Iohn Harrison the yonger, [], 1586, →OCLC, folio 6, verso:
      Now ſtands the Brere like a Lord alone, / Puffed up with pryde and vaine pleaſaunce: / But all this glee had no continuaunce. / For eftſoones Winter gan to approche, / The bluſtring Boreas did encroche, / And beate upon the ſolitarie Brere: / For nowe no ſuccour was ſeene him neere.
    • 1800, 1817, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, (1800 edition and 1817 edition), third stanza:
      He holds him with his skinny hand,
      ‘There was a ship,’ quoth he.
      ‘Hold off ! unhand me, grey-beard loon !’
      Eftsoons his hand dropt he.
    • 1913, Walt Mason, Rippling Rhymes:
      ... but when the world is really wise—may that day come eftsoons!
    • 1991, Roger Zelazny, Robert Sheckley, Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming[2], Bantam Books, New York, page 205:
      Princess Scarlet fanned herself with the Chinese fan that Supply had provided and, turning to Achmed Ali, said in formal tones, "Belike, sir, I've not seen thy match for overall all-in dancing eftsoons.
    • 2009 Aug/Sep, Bruce Sterling, “Esoteric City”, in Fantasy/SciFi, volume 117, number 1/2, page 227:
      "Eftsoons he will speak unto you," warned the mummy formally; ...