just now, adverbial phrase

English, AfrikaansShow more Special sense of general English just now exactly at this point of time, precisely at present, only a very short time ago, directly, immediately; influenced by Afrikaans netnou.
In a while, presently; by and by, after some time, later. See also now-now sense 2.
Used also as in general English, meaning ‘a short while ago’. See also now-now sense 1.
1900 H. Blore Imp. Light Horseman 198Go but inside, I shall follow just now.
a1931 S. Black in S. Gray Three Plays (1984) 139Katoo: Where is Miss Helena? Grietje: Gone in the veld, Miesies. She come yis now back.
1934 C.P. Swart Supplement to Pettman. 81Just now, This expression, in the sense of presently or by and by, is in constant use all over South Africa and has been doubtless influenced by Scotch usage.
1939 D. Rame Wine of Good Hope 40‘Well, eat then,’ said Lowell. ‘I’ll come just now.’
1953 N. Gordimer Lying Days 92‘Well,’ I said, ‘I’ll open it just now –.’
1957 D. Jacobson Price of Diamonds 7‘You must go,’ Gottlieb said abruptly...He stared above Gottlieb’s head. ‘Just now,’ he said..‘When we’ve done our business.’
1966 A. Sachs Jail Diary 143‘Would you mind switching off the light after you lock up.’ ‘The men on cell duty will do that just now.’
1969 A. Fugard Boesman & Lena 12Just now you get a bloody good klap.
1970 S. Deane Informant, BloemfonteinI’ll ring you back just now.
1979 A.P. Brink Dry White Season 57‘Why don’t you come to bed with me?’...It wasn’t often she conveyed it so openly. ‘I’ll be coming just now.’
1982 Sunday Times 31 MayJust now’ — this, of course, changes meaning depending on how much the ‘juuust’ is drawn out: ‘I’ll come just now’ could mean ‘I’ll come in a moment’; or ‘I’ll come in two hours...’ You could also use ‘now now’ in the same way as ‘just now’ to indicate that you’ll be doing something ‘soon soon’.
1987 M. Poland Train to Doringbult 135‘Daddy! Daddy! Come and see where I buried the kingfisher!’...‘Just now. I’m going to eat my breakfast, first.’
1990 Estcourt High School Mag. No.49, 17After many months of careful observation I think I am safe in defining ‘now’ as meaning ‘soon’, ‘now now’ as meaning ‘in a few minutes’, ‘now, now, now’ as meaning ‘now’, and finally ‘just now’ as meaning ‘later’.
1991 T. Bowles Informant, GrahamstownPhone them just now. They should be back by just now.
In a while, presently; by and by, after some time, later.

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