This is a question about American English usage of the word "already". As a UK resident I don't completely understand when I hear Americans give commands like "Stop it already!" In the UK the word already is not normally used in the imperative mood and the sentence I've just quoted would leave an English person thinking "If you're saying I've already stopped it why are you asking me to stop it again?"
- Anybody can ask a question
- Anybody can answer
- The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
It is informal, and I understand it to express impatience, i.e. to mean something like “right now”. The New Oxford American Dictionary has:
The implication of an imperative with "already" is that the proper time for carrying out the command has passed, and the person being spoken to is remiss in waiting to be told:
Mary's point is that Bob should have left some time ago, and she's annoyed by his delay.
Be careful when using this construction. Saying it to your boss, for example, if he is an American and at all ill-natured, would be a CLM, a Career-Limiting Move.
This is most likely rooted from the Yiddish idiom, as in "enough, already", and can be taken to indicate lack of patience in most contexts.
Not only is already used in this way informal, it can be downright peremptory and even aggressive, but it is always imperative. It indicates that the speaker is out of patience and wants to end this part of the conversation and proceed to the next stage (or to exit it altogether).
Now, it doesn't have to be an angry or negative statement. It can be spoken among friends
protected by RegDwigнt♦ May 24 '12 at 15:47
Thank you for your interest in this question.
Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).
Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?