is a common phrase in South African English
, meaning almost now
, i.e. a point in time close to but not identical to the present. This is more likely to be the near future
than the recent past
, but can be either depending on context.
This phrase is very confusing to people not versed in South African English, for whom "now" means right now not "later".
Here are some examples of everyday usage to help you understand what we mean:
Alice: Howzit, where’s Bob?
Carl: He was here a minute ago, I saw him just now.
Dan: He went to the shop, he’ll be back just now.
Bob: Hi guys, I'm back. I saw this hot chick at the shop just now.
The phrase now-now is occasionally substituted for just now. Confusingly, on occasion so is now.
Bob: I’m just popping out to the shop, I’ll be back now.
Dan: Ok, I'll see you now-now.
I guess that this means that South Africa is one of those countries where time is not measured exactly. See African time and manana.