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?
  • 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. Jul 13, 2011 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, 2011 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! :) Jul 14, 2011 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.
    – apaderno
    Jul 14, 2011 at 13:09
  • @Kiam At least you have a complete breakdown on it in my answer
    – mplungjan
    Jul 14, 2011 at 13:27

5 Answers 5


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 […]"


The text comes from George of the Jungle


[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.


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

  • 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."
    – apaderno
    Jul 13, 2011 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.


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.

  • or perhaps even 'right about now'. Jul 13, 2011 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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