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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Idioms relating to age  
from:  'act your age'    to: 'put years on'

  • act your age!
    • This expression is used to tell someone to stop being silly or childish and behave in a more mature way.
      "Come on boys! Stop being so silly and act your age!"

  • age before beauty
    • 'Age before beauty' is a teasing, playful (and slightly rude) way of indicating to someone that they should go first.
      "As he held the door open Charlie said “Go ahead please. Age before beauty, you know!”

  • get on in years
    • Someone who is getting on in years is growing old.
      "My grandmother is getting on in years. She's no longer able to look after her home without help."

  • knee-high to a grasshopper
    • This term refers to a very young and therefore small child.
      "Last time I saw you, you were knee-high to a grasshopper!"

  • long in the tooth
    • A person who is long in the tooth is a bit too old to do something.
      "She's a bit long in the tooth for a cabaret dancer, isn't she?"

  • mutton dressed as lamb
    • This expression refers to a middle-aged woman who tries to look younger by dressing in clothes designed for younger people.
      "The style doesn't suit her - it has a mutton-dressed-as-lamb effect on her"

  • no spring chicken
    • To say that someone is no spring chicken means that they are quite old or well past their youth.
      "How old is the owner? I don't know but she's no spring chicken!"

  • (be) over the hill
    • If a person is over the hill, they have reached an age when they can no longer perform as well as before.
      "Gran! You say you're over the hill, but you're a super cook!"

  • (live to a) ripe old age
    • This expression means to live until you are very old.
      "If you lead a healthy life you'll live to a ripe old age." said the doctor."

  • rob the cradle
    • If you rob the cradle, you have a romantic relationship with someone who is much younger than yourself.
      "My uncle Ted is dating a twenty-year-old girl. That's really robbing the cradle!"

  • senior moment
    • A momentary lapse of memory, especially in older people, or an absent-minded action such as putting the cereals in the refrigerator,
      is humorously referred to as having a senior moment.
      "I found the phone in the cupboard. I must have had a senior moment!"

  • silver surfer
    • A silver surferis an elderly person who uses the internet.
      "After just a few questions my grandmother was ready to join the silver surfers."

  • put years on someone
    • If an event or difficult situation puts years on someone, it makes them look or feel much older.
      "I hardly recognized Mr. Brown. His illness has put years on him."

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