‘Forty is the new thirty.’ Do you know what this phrase means? It means you don’t need to worry about ageing when you’re in your forties: nowadays, you can do anything and everything a thirty-something would do. Many of us look fabolous and feel wonderful in our forties. Why would we let life pass us by? ‘You’re only as old as you feel.’ I don’t know about you, but I feel twenty-five right now.
Ageing is something we all have to go through. The wise are not really affected by it and they age gracefully, accepting the changes that take place in their body. Others find ageing unfair and horrendous. Love it or hate it, our age is something that remains an important factor in defining who we are throughout our lives.
unfair treatment of a person because he or she is too old
- Why do you say George is too old for you? That’s ageism! Picasso married his second wife at the age of 79.
[Tweet “AGEISM: unfair treatment of a person because he or she is too old”]
right for someone’s age
- Laura has turned 16 this year, she shouldn’t be playing with Barbie dolls anymore. Why don’t you buy her some more age-appropriate toys?
AGE BEFORE BEAUTY
A phrase a younger person would tell an older one (often as a joke) when they allow the other to pass through a door first. Unless it’s a lighthearted joke, it may be considered rude.
- No, no. You go first. You know, age before beauty.
- Just how old do you think I am?
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER
a phrase to say that age does not matter
- Clark is going out with a much older woman!
- Who cares? Age is just a number. They might be a match made in heaven.
never growing old (seemingly)
- The beauty of Shakespeare’s poems is ageless.
the difference in age between two people
- Sue was raised by her grandparents. They tried their best, but the age gap soon became a problem.
[Tweet “AGE GAP: the difference in age between two people”]
the youngest or oldest age at which you’re allowed to do something
- What’s the upper age limit for driving?
- I don’t know. My grandma is eighty-three and she’s still allowed to drive.
ACT YOUR AGE
don’t behave like somebody younger
- I wish my father would act his age and stop jumping on the trampoline with my friends when they come around. It’s so embarrassing.
AT THE TENDER AGE OF
at a young age
- Batman lost his parents at the tender age of 8.
AT THE GRAND OLD AGE OF
at an old age
- My grandma learnt how to use a computer at the grand old age of 79.
BE AN OLD HAND AT SOMETHING
be good at something because you have done it for a long time
- Miss Florence can take over your class, she’s an old hand at teaching.
[Tweet “BE AN OLD HAND AT SOMETHING: be good at something because you have done it for a long time”]
BE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THIRTY
be older than thirty (humorous)
- I don’t go to night clubs anymore now that I’m on the wrong side of thirty. Everybody is much younger than me.
BE OVER THE HILL
be too old to do something well
- Sure I can learn how to dance salsa. I’m not over the hill yet, you know.
BE GETTING ON
be getting old
- My mother keeps forgetting things. I think she’s getting on a bit.
BE NO SPRING CHICKEN
not be young
- Please, don’t patronise me, father. I’m no spring chicken anymore.
BE OF ADVANCED YEARS/ BE UP IN YEARS
- I think it’s worth taking Yoda’s advice. He’s a jedi of advanced years.
- You need to help out around uncle Joe’s house more often. You know, he’s up in years.
[Tweet “BE UP IN YEARS: be old”]
BE PAST YOUR PRIME
be beyond your most productive period
- I love our Honda Civic, but it’s past its prime. We’ll have to get a new one soon.
not having arrived at an adult age
- You can’t sell alcohol or cigarettes to the underage.
BE YOUNG AT HEART
still like doing fun things, have a youthful spirit
- She may be advanced in years, but she’s young at heart.
BETRAY YOUR AGE
reveal, show signs of your real age
- Danny looks thirty, but if you look closer, the wrinkles around his eyes betray his age.
COME OF AGE
reach adult status
- Even though Bruce has inherited a fortune, the money is being held in trust until he comes of age.
[Tweet “COME OF AGE: reach adult status”]
the difference between the lifestyles and attitudes of people of different generations
- The generation gap becomes more apparent when children are in their teens.
THE GOOD DIE YOUNG
good people often die at a young age
- My heartfelt condolences on your loss, Mr Smith. Sally was such a fantastic person, but as they say, the good die young.
LOOK YOUR AGE
be as old as you look
- Lindsay Lohan doesn’t look her age at all. She looks way older.
the crisis one may have when realizing how much time they have left to live
- I think Peter’s having a midlife crisis. He’s sold his house and is planning to open a bar in Ibiza.
OLD HEAD ON YOUNG SHOULDERS
a young person who thinks like a more experienced person
- My three-year-old daughter said she didn’t like people who speak too much and don’t get anything done. She’s got an old head on young shoulders, hasn’t she?
[Tweet “OLD HEAD ON YOUNG SHOULDERS: a young person who thinks like a more experienced person”]
RIPE OLD AGE
a very old age
- Both my grandparents lived to the ripe old age of ninety-five.
an unusual lapse of memory or logic
- Hey, what’s the name of Harry Potter’s best friend? I think I’m having a senior moment and can’t remember.
THERE IS NO FOOL LIKE AN OLD FOOL
old people are expected to be wiser than young ones, so when they are foolish it seems much worse
- Granny, please don’t go bungee jumping to Columbia. There’s no fool like an old fool.
WET BEHIND THE EARS
too young, lacking experience
- Have you met the new boss?I wonder how we’ll get along. He’s still wet behind the ears.
YOU CAN’T TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS
it’s difficult to teach a new skill or habit to an old person
- My grandson wanted to play Mortal Kombat with me, but you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, can you?
[Tweet “YOU CAN’T TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS: it’s difficult to teach a new skill or habit to an old person”]
young people in an organization
- Our golf club is suffering from a lack of young blood. Why don’t we all ask our children to join?
If you have found these expressions interesting, why not learn some more exciting phrases to use when talking about time:
A Visual List of 100 English IDIOMS FOR TIME with Examples
1000+ Most Popular English Idioms and Their Meanings
The clock is ticking!