When, for example, your kid is dilatory and we are running out of time, how to express "hurry up"?

I'm not asking how to educate kids, that is another story. I wonder how do Americans or British people say in this scenario.

I may say it as per the grammar:

  • "Hurry up, John, you've been having this meal for 30 minutes. Don't talk anymore and don't play the toys".
  • "Be quick, Mary, we are late, don't play with Max anymore, just say goodbye to him, we are leaving now".

I wonder how do Americans or British people say in such scenario.

And do you (Americans or British people) have any other words to say to speed up your kids?


2 Answers 2


When someone is being "dilatory," or pokey, there are lots of ways to express "hurry up" in other ways. The one I use most often comes from Spanish:


Or if they're being extremely pokey and I want to add more empahsis, I say:

"¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Epa!"

That's borrowed from the cartoon Speedy Gonzalez, and when people say it, it's usually in a manner that imitates how Speedy Gonazlez says it.

Another thing I say is:

"Get the lead out."

That suggests that they're moving really slowly, like they're weighed down with lead.

I also might say:

"Chop chop!"

That phrase comes into English from Chinese (Cantonese).

Another favorite I use is:

"Get a move on!"

Oh, and:

"Quit poking around."

Some things my mom says when us kids are moving too slow for her liking are:

  • "Molasses moves faster than you. Come on!"

  • "Quit dragging your feet!"

  • "Today!"

  • "Before I'm dead, please!"

  • "Could you move any slower?" (this one's passive aggressive)

My dad isn't as nice. What he generally says when I'm moving too slow for his liking is:

"Get your thumb out of your ass!"


"Get your ass in gear!"

My dad's expressions are technically to be used for when someone's at a standstill, not simply being slow. However, he, like lots of other people, says them when someone's being slow to suggest that they're being so slow that it's as though they're at a standstill.

If we're at a stoplight and the person driving is being slow about taking off or turning left after it's changed, I say:

"It doesn't get any greener."

  • 1
    I didn't down vote but I personally would caution learners against using "andale" (and the other Speedy Gonzales examples) as they could be taken as cultural insensitive.
    – Em.
    Sep 10, 2019 at 2:57
  • Let's go.

  • Step on the gas.

  • Let's get going.

  • We don't want to be late!

  • Let's talk about it on the way.

  • Let's hurry up and go home to see Mama!

  • Gotta go now!

  • Come on!

  • Time to go!

  • Eat now, talk later.

  • Eat first, then play.

  • Where do you want your stuffed animal to sit so he can watch you eat your lunch?

  • The toy truck will sit here [on the other side of the room] and watch you eat your lunch. We will park it there. When you're done eating, you can go get it and play some more.

In my family when our children were younger we referenced a Dr. Seuss book, Marvin K. Mooney, will you please go now. That is actually word for word what we said, and the children understood the reference.

  • @Em. - Thanks, but I don't know what to say about things like "Come on!". // I took out the last part (the best part, I thought....) Sep 10, 2019 at 4:34
  • @aparente001 I cant find a dictionnary entry for "shat in the car", could you give more details on this idiom please ?
    – May.D
    Oct 16, 2019 at 20:10
  • @May.D - I'm terribly sorry. That phrase is a family joke. It's not in any dictionary, and no one (to my knowledge) outside my family uses that phrase. It originated from a mispronunciation of "chat in the car", which means, "walk now, talk later". "Drive now, talk later" is a modern set phrase that means, "stop talking on your cell phone while you are driving [since it is dangerous]." Look again at the earlier version of my post, and let me know if you still have a question. Again, I'm sorry to have gone off on an anecdotal tangent. Oct 16, 2019 at 23:26
  • @aparente001 thanks for detailed comment. As a non-native I first tought I might have an adequate answer but I was far out of line . Atleast I learned some new idioms :)
    – May.D
    Oct 17, 2019 at 0:20
  • @May.D - Sorry again for the confusion. It was suggested to me to remove the anecdote, so I did, but that actually made things worse. I've raised a flag to get the mess cleared out. Thanks for your understanding. Oct 17, 2019 at 0:28

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