“Call me a relic, call me what you will
Say I’m old-fashioned, say I’m over the hill…”
from “Old-Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger
In “Multiple Way to Describe Old & New” we talked about adjectives that could be used as synonyms for old and new when describing things. In this article we’ll look at (mostly) idioms to talk about people’s age. Make sure you practice the vocabulary after reading and learning the idioms. 😉
Idioms Meaning Young & Inexperienced
- Green – inexperienced, especially because of being young
Examples: 1) I was very green when I started working there. 2) I was still green when I joined the company.
2. Young/fresh blood – young people who have a lot of energy and ideas
Examples: 1) We need to introduce more young blood into the organization. 2) What we need is some fresh blood.
3. In one’s prime – in/during one’s happiest, most successful time (by extension – when one is/was young)
Examples: 1) He retired while he was still in his prime. 2) When I was in my prime, I could dance for hours without a break.
4. In one’s heyday – see in one’s prime
Examples: 1) In her heyday, she could tour for years in a row and sell out stadiums. 2) In his heyday, his face was on every magazine cover.
5. In one’s salad days (old-fashioned) – when one is/was young and inexperienced
Examples: 1) I met my future wife in my salad days. 2) I picked my career in my salad days, and since then, I’ve been pursuing it.
6. In the springtime of life – when one is/was very young
Examples: 1) In the springtime of life, I used to dream of becoming a ballerina. 2) In the springtime of life, we tend to think we can make any dream come true.
7. Wet behind the ears – see green and in one’s salad days
Examples: 1) I was wet behind the ears when I managed to sign my first contract with a record label. 2) He’s still wet behind the ears and I wouldn’t always take him seriously.
Idioms Meaning Old & Wise
8. Past one’s prime – the opposite of in one’s prime
Examples: 1) He still can play, but he’s past his prime. 2) She’s past her prime but she’s still quite popular.
9. Over the hill (humorous) – old and no longer attractive or useful
Examples: 1) I don’t think of myself as being over the hill yet. 2) Judging from Saturday’s performance, she’s by no means over the hill yet.
10. Long in the tooth – too old to do something
Examples: 1) He’s a little long in the tooth to be wearing shorts, don’t you think? 2) I’m a bit long in the tooth to be looking for a boyfriend.
11. In one’s dotage /ˈdəʊtɪdʒ/ – when one is/was old
Examples: 1) She wanted someone to look after her in her dotage. 2) When I’m in my dotage, I’ll be doing a lot of painting.
12. In the autumn/winter of one’s life – when one is/was rather old
Examples: 1) Don’t fear the autumn of your life – every age is beautiful in its own way. 2) I have no idea what I’ll do in the winter of my life.
13. In one’s declining years – in the last years of one’s life
Examples: 1) My grandma was full of energy even in her declining years. 2) He became very forgetful in his declining years.
14. To be pushing (an age) – to be approaching (an age)
Examples: 1) I hated sports when I was pushing 20, but now that I’m in my 40s I love them! 2) She is full of energy and enthusiasm even though she’s pushing 80.
Click the link here and complete each sentence with one word.
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