What would the opposite word or short phrase be for "be patient"/"have patience"?

Say some friends and I are getting ready to go out for the evening, and we are all ready but one friend is still just lollygagging around and taking their time, not really in a rush. We ask them to hurry up and they reply "come on guys have patience."

We had been patient and gave say ten minutes before asking to hurry up...So we were patiently waiting but it's now past that point (if that makes sense).

What would a proper reply be? "Could you be a little more _____"? Or "we have been patiently waiting, could you learn to be a little more _____"?

Random words I think of but aren't quite right are "attentive", "punctual", obviously not "impatient" (although it's along that thought line)...

If I can clarify any more please let me know!

Edit: To clarify, like saying "have patience" implies something I lack as a trait, I'm looking for something that would mean the same for someone who always takes their time.

  • 2
    "Could you pick up the pace?" | "Get a move on!"
    – pyobum
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 1:00
  • 1
    "Get the lead out" is colloquial (American) English. It means "hurry your butt/arse up." Another one is "Shake a leg!' These and the ones by pyobum all mean Hurry up. Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 1:04
  • 1
    If you're looking specifically for an adjective, maybe prompt.
    – vpn
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 1:19
  • The opposite of patience would seem to be impatience. I think you want something like quick. The word fits both sentences. Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 1:27
  • 1
    Have a greater sense of urgency?
    – BoldBen
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 11:21

4 Answers 4


The opposite admonition to "be patient" is

be respectful of others' time

If you want to express this slightly less strongly:

be considerate of others

considerate: 1. Having or showing regard for the needs or feelings of others

(American Heritage Dictionary)

Your sentence:

"Could you be a little more considerate / respectful?"

Here is a resource for you: http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Respectful.


If you want some natural ways to ask someone to hurry up, here are a few. The top of the list is super-polite, and they gradually descend in politeness and become more informal.

Could you please:

proceed immediately to the door

finish up [in there] without delay

make your preparations as quickly as you can

finish getting ready as soon as possible

do what you need to do [so we can get out of here]

not keep us waiting [any longer]

hurry [it] up

move a little faster

speed it up [in there / over there]

get a move on / get moving

step on it / step on the gas

  • I think this, coupled with "have a greater sense of urgency" as suggested by @boldben, works the best. Thank you!!
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 22:39

As a parent I'm a fan of the word dawdle, which Merriam-Webster defines as

  1. to spend time idly
  2. to move lackadaisically

An appropriate thing to say to your friend could be

"We've been patient, but now you need to stop dawdling."

This sentence expresses that you think your friend is taking too long to do what needs to be done.

As the comments on your question suggest, there are various idioms that could be added to your admonishment to stop dawdling, but dawdling is an excellent word to describe the behavior itself.


When he or she says, "Be patient" say "We were patient. Now we're late."


The word expeditious might be suitable here, as a a word for the second potential question, fulfilling the space in your example of "we have been patiently waiting, could you learn to be a little more _____". This predicative adjective has an entry in Wiktionary, listed below, and its root means quite literally "to hasten the pace of". This should hurry him/her up...


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