Any way that suited the other man would suit him - any way just so's he got a bet, he was satisfied. But still he was lucky, uncommon lucky; he most always come out winner. He was always ready and laying for a chance; there couldn't be no solit'ry thing mentioned but that feller'd offer to bet on it, and take any side you please, as I was just telling you.

From Mark Twain's "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County".

What exactly the above phrase means? What could be said instead of "any way just so's?"

  • "just so's" is slang for "just so that" – John Peters Dec 2 '15 at 4:23
  • @JohnPeters I think it's a little more complicated contraction than that. Why would you contract so and that with 's? – 1252748 Dec 2 '15 at 4:46
  • I wouldn't do it, but in that region, just south of where I live it's how they speak. Notice the word so's with the word got. It's slang all the way and is rooted in poor education. People speak what they hear and if they aren't taught differently that's how they speak. Mark Twain was a master of writing the slang of the time. – John Peters Dec 2 '15 at 4:51

I’ve got no reference either (other than this ‘Grammarly’ Facebook post), but I always took it to be a contraction of “[just] so as,” which in your context could mean “[just] as long as [he got a bet].”

“So’s” is also found in “Just so’s you know/ya knows,” where the non-contracted version would be “just so as you know/ya knows.”


"any way just so's he got a bet" is a slang rendition of "any way just so that he has got a bet". So it's more or less "that" and "has" in audaciously contracted form. I have no idea where one would look that kind of thing up, though, so I have to pass on providing a solid reference.


So's is ooooooold. Its "so as" "so is" "so has"

I'm going out, so's you know.

I'm going out. So's Suzy.

I've gone out. So's Suzy.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.