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awhile

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[Note: This entry was previously awhile now.]

awhile adv Also awhile now [PaGer alleweil just now] sePA

Now, right away.
1907 German Amer. Annals 9.312 sePA, Awhile. Expletive, now; often of no special force. “Eat your supper awhile” equals “Eat your supper.” Lan[caster], Leb[anon], Y[ork], Ad[ams Counties]. . . Sometimes this is used to imply expectation of something to follow, as in the example above it might mean before the others. 1935 AmSp 10.167 sePA, Shall we go awhile now (go at once)? 1993 AmSp 68.335 sePA, In Berks County the phrase is always only awhile, never awhile now. I have collected several examples of the Berks County variant in everyday conversation, demonstrating that this form is both current and frequent: “I know that it [a paycheck] is coming, so I’ll spend it awhile” (white female speaker, mid-thirties, secretary); “Can I ring you up awhile?” (white female speaker, mid-thirties, cashier); “Would anyone like anything to drink awhile?” (white female speaker, late-twenties, waitress); “I’ll have him get that [roll of carpet] down for you awhile” (white male speaker, late thirties, carpet salesperson). 2008 NY Times (NY) 20 June sec D 7/4 sePA, Earlier, she had asked a couple over my shoulder: “Do you want your coffee awhile?” Meaning while you wait.

 

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