O.E. sona "at once, immediately," from W.Gmc. *sæno (cf. O.Fris. son, O.S. sana, O.H.G. san, Goth. suns "soon"). Sense shifted early M.E. to "within a short time" through human nature (cf. anon). Amer.Eng. Sooner for "Oklahoma native" is 1930, from the fact that in 1889 many settlers of the territory snuck onto public land and staked their claims "sooner" than the legal date and time.