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I found these two recently in different sources:

Она уже не маленькая, если что.

(talking about their daughter, who wanted to move to America)

Я пойду и побью его. - Он 5 лет занимался боксом, если что.

The only reference I found for если что was with случится, i.e. if anything happens. What is the speaker trying to say in these examples?

11

The first can be translated as:

She is not a kid, just in case you forgot.

or depending of a context:

She is not a kid, (she will manage to solve the problems) if anything happens.

The second is:

He has 5 year boxing experience, just in case you did not know.

Or maybe "if you know what I mean" will better translate "если что" here.

The usage is slightly non-standard, but understandable.

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  • Thank you! When you say non-standard, you mean most people wouldn't use it? – CocoPop Oct 14 '14 at 15:34
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    I think the standard way is using "между прочим" instead. Some people may use even "на минуточку", which is also non-standard, but widely used in colloquial speech: gramota.ru/slovari/argo/53_7741. – Artemix Oct 14 '14 at 15:44
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    Got it! (1) "She's not a child, you know"; and (2) "He's been boxing for five years, mind you." Thanks again for your wonderful explanations :) – CocoPop Oct 14 '14 at 22:20
1

It's a turn of speech combining the meanings of "if something (unclear, misunderstood, happens, goes wrong, etc)". Russians love to use such unspecific phrases with different meanings. See also: Ну ты заходи, если что

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  • On the other hand, it seems to be not done to just say "Это зовисит." – Raskolnikov Dec 6 '14 at 11:59
  • @Raskolnikov, please, check the spelling of words, before you write it on educational site like this one. I'm talking about the work "зовисит", which is normally written as "зависит". – Dmitry Ginzburg Dec 8 '14 at 14:23

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