Two definitions :

As a adjective, sooner means the opposite of later. In other words, to get around to something at an earlier time.

As a noun, a Sooner was someone who staked a land claim before the official date of the 1893 Oklahoma Land Run. The interesting thing here is that the University of Oklahoma names their sports teams, the Sooners, after criminals...

Soon"er (?), n.

In the western United States, one who settles on government land before it is legally open to settlement in order to gain the prior claim that the law gives to the first settler when the land is opened to settlement; hence, any one who does a thing prematurely or anticipates another in acting in order to gain an unfair advantage.

 

© Webster 1913.

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