1. (Aus.) a lazy person, one who would ‘sooner’ lie around than work or, in context, fight.
|‘Hello, Soldier!’ 31: He slugged a tubby Hun, / Then choked a Fritzie with his dukes, ’n’ pinched the sooner’s gun!‘Bricks’ in|
|Rocky Road 148: He’s a sooner, that fella [...] He’d sooner be a dirty scut than a dacent skin, any day.|
|Shipbuilders (1954) 60: Aye – the dirty sooners.|
|I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 239/1: sooner – a dog, or sometimes a person, who is no good.|
|Nobody Stops Me 23: Where’s that blasted Roxy got to. Lazy, loafing old sooner.|
|,||see sense 9.|
2. (also just as soon dog) a mongrel or any dog that would ‘rather feed than fight’; the same applies to cats; also attrib.
|Dead Bird (Sydney) 21 Dec. 11/3: George’s faithful hound, Seldom fed — one of the celebrated Sooner breed, by the way.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 26 July 16/1: The only dogs I’ve known drovers to be unkind to were wastrels, ‘sooner-dogs,’ not worth tucker, and such animals are annoying on the road.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 17 Apr. 1/1: A Fremantle citizen’s sooner chewed up their canine.|
|Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.|
|Aus. Lang. 73: Outback slang terms for dogs include: [...] sooner (i.e. one that would sooner rest than work).|
|I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 239/1: sooner – a dog [...] who is no good.|
|Portrait of a Young Man Drowning (1963) 8: He said he’s a ‘just as soon’ dog . . . He’d just as soon eat as to sleep.|
|Notes for Gloss. of Barbadian Dial. 106: Sooner. A mongrel. On asking on one occasion why a ‘sooner’, I was told, ‘He’d sooner bark than bite’.|
|Homeboy 183: ‘What’s a sooner Catahoula?’ ‘Hound he grows only down the bayou and jist as soon as he do something, that’s how soon he be in trouble.’.|
|Irish Times 3 Nov. n.p.: The problem with our ferret was that he was spoilt or a ‘sooner’. Instead of terrifying the rabbits [...] our ferret was satisfied to catch one, dine off it and fall asleep [BS].|
3. (US) an illegitimate child [born too soon for the wedding].
|Down in the Holler 286: sooner: n. A child born less than nine months after its parents’ wedding.|
4. (US Und.) one who takes things for granted; a mistaken optimist [they feel optimistic too soon].
|Life In Sing Sing 261: Everything was rosy, the cush was coming strong and I was patting this ginny on the hump, but I was a sooner.|
5. (Aus.) a confidence trickster.
|cited in DSUE (1984).|
6. (US black) a cheap and badly made object; a dirty and unkempt person.
|Novels and Stories (1995) 1010: Sooner: anything cheap and mongrel; now applied to [...] a shabby person.‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in|
|‘The Open Book’ in Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (1995) 112: A psalm singing sooner, a guitar picking crooner / and as worthless as tits on a boar.|
7. (US) a choice.
|Walk on the Wild Side 175: I’d as soon not be whupped — if I got my sooners.|
8. (N.Z.) an ill-behaved, lazy horse.
|Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 106/1: sooner a horse jibbing, one that would sooner go back than forward, a lazy horse – or person.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].|