Talk to you after a bit(an interesting shibboleth)

Ethnically my dad is from Volga German stock. He is a second generation Canadian. His mum is first, and her parents came to Canada as youths.

He says “Talk to you after a bit” or “See you after a bit” to indicate some indefinite time in the future rather than in five minutes, or 1 hour, or whatever. Point is, hes not making a commitment, he is just saying goodbye. Most people just say “see you later”.

He is second oldest of his siblings, but I havent noticed them saying it. Of older generations, the numbers have dwindled to a handful, and I dont really get to interact with them.

Has anyone else heard this peculiar phrase? Is it a dad-ism, or a proper shibboleth?

I thought it was a southern thing. I say it, I’m from Mississippi.

The expressions “In a bit” is commonplace throughout the English speaking world. It isn’t related to any locality, demographic or ethnicity, and so isn’t a shibboleth.

Kind of surprised you haven’t noticed it before. It is widely and regularly used in movies and TV.

Pretty familiar and common to me.

“After a bit”, not “in a bit”. Different phrasing.

Very, very mildly different, with exactly the same meaning. It’s no different from “in a while” and “after a while”. It’s just a personal choice of phrasing, not some sort of regional variation. Just as the same person may say “In a while” in one instance and “after a while” in another, the same is true of “after a bit”, not “in a bit”.
It’s still commonly used throughout the English speaking world.

I sometimes say “see you in a bit” if I’m on the phone with someone I’m about to meet up with. Dad is French-Canadian by way of Massachusetts, Mom is English.

Not the same meaning. You are still not reading what I wrote, and I reiterated the point several times. John Mace corrected you; but perhaps you didnt go back and read it again.

In a bit, means “very shortly” as commonly understood. “After a bit” if its widely used, should be synonymous with that.

The way my dad uses it is more along the lines of “See you at some indefinite time in the future”. My second paragraph is quite clear on that.

Needless to say, many people hear it (as you did) to indicate “shortly”, causing them occasional irritation and frustration.

He definitely says it differently from most Canadians, and he certainly uses it differently from most English speaking people.

I’ve said “in a bit”, but not “after a bit”. So that settles that.

It doesn’t though.

You might think it should, but phrases like “Later”, “In a while” and “In a bit” are just idiomatic parting phrases. Parsed grammatically they might mean that you intend to contact the person again, but in common idiom they just mean “Goodbye”. That’s why a complete stranger such as a shop assistant can say “See ya” and nobody finds it odd. It’s just idiom.

While some people probably do mean that they intend to see the person again when they say “Later”, “See you” or “In a bit”, that’s in no way universal. It’s probably not even the most common meaning. The alternative standard meaning, the way your father is using it, simply means “Goodbye”. “In a bit” certainly doesn’t imply that you intend to talk to the person shortly. It’s just a generic parting phrase. It may not even mean that you ever intend to see the person again, any more than “See ya” means you intend to see them again.

I always use in a bit or after a bit as a vague future time. Never meaning very quickly.

In fact, of I tell you I’ll get to it in a bit, don’t hold your breath!