Friday, 29 November 2013


Lately, I've been reading (not hearing though) a new word which has intrigued me a  great deal. When an online friend said at the end of our conversation, ‘laters’ I thought WHAT IS THAT?  'later' with a plural 's'? How does that happen?

I've now found out exactly what it means ‘see you later!’ It’s interesting that Professor David Crystal also comments on the unusual plural. I like David Crystal – he is a linguist but not a stuffy one – and he delivers great information.

Anyway, Professor Crystal comments that the plural 's' is often added on to pet names such as mums for mum or pops for dad or gramps for grandpa. It also, he adds, happens to proper names such as Wills for Prince William. The 's', he says, is sometimes added to a word to 'make it nice and friendly'. That is why then we have ‘laters’– it is a nice, friendly term, an up-to-date colloquialism  something like ciao or ta ta for now. The professor also makes the interesting observation that if you say ‘laters’ instead of ‘goodbye’ you will probably begin the conversation with ‘hey’ or ‘hi’ .

I’m not intrigued any more – thanks, Professor Crystal for making it all crystal clear to me, and I can start to use the term myself – as I inevitably will at some point! 


  1. Hardly a new word, methinks. I first heard it in the film 'Bend It Like Beckham' (2002). I have to admit to using it myself too!

  2. My kids used to use it then it seemed to go out of fashion. It's obviously coming back again then.

  3. I am a frequent flyer on this one, too... L8trs

  4. haha! I heard it first, I think, on something like Smallville, where Superman's mom got possessed by a much younger and "cooler" entity and said to one person "laters" when saying goodbye. I've used it ever since, because it sounded cool and relaxed to me. :D