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I know you're feeling pretty hey sailor up here about now.

  • What does about now mean, in the sentence?
  • Is it an informal way of saying?
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1  
I thought it was bizarre that OP should be asking about the about now in a sentence that makes no sense whatsoever. Thanks to @mplungian I see where the sentence came from. To my mind it's not a real question, it's complete drivel, and I've voted to close. –  FumbleFingers Jul 13 '11 at 21:07
    
@fumblefingers: My name is not Armenian :| But yes, it is likely drivel, but about now still makes sense. Seem my edited answer –  mplungjan Jul 14 '11 at 6:07
    
@mplungjan: Sorry about that - I usually cut&paste. I must admit I'm surprised how many answers and votes there are, willing to deconstruct an almost meaningless mistranslation (from a non-existent original, to boot). I for one will not be watching George of the Jungle in the interests of linguistic research! :) –  FumbleFingers Jul 14 '11 at 13:02
    
Actually the sentence I wrote in the question is a sentence I found on Internet. I cannot remember where I read it, but I didn't invent a sentence just for asking a question. –  kiamlaluno Jul 14 '11 at 13:09
    
@Kiam At least you have a complete breakdown on it in my answer –  mplungjan Jul 14 '11 at 13:27

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

About suggests approximation, so at approximately this time. Most often used as an aside to the reader.

About now you might be wondering why you should invest in […]"

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The text comes from George of the Jungle

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119190/quotes

[Translating with a Swahili phrasebook]

Lyle: Pardon me, girls. I know you're feeling pretty hey sailor up here about now. But if you would just let me order a bowl of fried clams we can all have smallpox tomorrow morning.

So it is a tourist using a poor guidebook that renders a possibly innocent request into something rude as in the famous Dirty Hungarian Phrasebook's request for matches become do you want to go to my place -- bouncy-bouncy?

My take on this sentence is:

  • Feeling pretty something : quite; very: The wind blew pretty hard.
  • About now - I feel pretty tired about now = I feel quite tired at this time
  • "Hey sailor, up here" - prostitutes calling from a balcony to sailors down below.

Result:

Pardon me girls, I know by now you want me to have paid sex with you, but I am very hungry so I will eat now and have unprotected sex with you tomorrow which will spread, among us all, a horrible disease brought to indigenous populations by sailors

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That is turn about, not about now. You can say "she looked about the room," but that doesn't mean that "about the room" means "look about the room." –  kiamlaluno Jul 13 '11 at 21:24

What does about now mean, in the sentence?

"About now" means "at this time."

Is it an informal way of saying?

Yes, this is informal speech or writing. I think this kind of writing style is common in email messages when the writer is guessing the mood of the recipient.

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I disagree with @moici's answer on this: "About" is commonly used informally to (ironically) emphasize the word it modifies and so does not mean "approximately" in this sense.

I am about sick of this music.

does not mean that I am "nearly" or "approximately" sick, but rather that I am thoroughly sick of it. Likewise:

I know you're feeling pretty hey sailor up here about now.

Should be translated:

I know you're feeling pretty hey sailor up here right now.

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or perhaps even 'right about now'. –  whoabackoff Jul 13 '11 at 22:23

Good deductive work from @mplungjan, but, in general, "about now" can almost always be replaced with "now" without loss of meaning.

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