"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Sunday, 2 December 2012


Eftsoon, sadly, is a word no longer in use.  It should be.  I think it sounds wonderful;.  It means soon afterwards; or anew, repeatedly or once again.

Please can we have our word back??  If someone re-introduced it to the language I would use it eftsoon.


  1. Looks/sounds to me like it could have developed into "often"? Or does that word have a different root...

  2. I have not heard or read this one yet, not even in one of the books from the late 1800s and early 1900s I have been reading recently.

    1. I only came across it by chance in the dictionary, Meike. It's not a word I have ever read that I can recall.

  3. John, John . . . Coleridge's Ancient Mariner!

    "It is an ancient Mariner,
    And he stoppeth one of three.
    `By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
    Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

    "The bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
    And I am next of kin;
    The guests are met, the feast is set:
    Mayst hear the merry din.'

    "He holds him with his skinny hand,
    "There was a ship," quoth he.
    `Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!'
    Eftsoons his hand dropped he.

    "He holds him with his glittering eye -
    The Wedding-Guest stood still,
    And listens like a three years' child:
    The Mariner hath his will.

    Quite right, Sir, we should bring eftsoons back into circulation anon!
    Take care, McGregor

    1. Well, well. So I had read it - many moons ago - and forgotten it, unlike you. Thsnks McG.

  4. John, I didn't think there was a chance that you would have missed that word! (I have to confess to teaching the poem, recently, or I'd have forgotten it too). You might like to know that I share your blog with erstwhile denizens (grandchildren, 10 and 11), and that your Ivy's (mis)adventures, her latest doing a little blogging for you, and no less photos of her, are a source of great delight. You might also like to know that your highlighting eftsoon led to the lad's first encounter with that poem through listening to Orson Wells reading the poem and, as well, seeing at the same time, Gustav Dore's engravings responding to it. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for telling me. That alone makes this blog a worthwhiule venture and use of my time! The Mariner without Gustave Doré would be bacon without the egg.