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Thread: Better metaphor than "As old as the hills"?

  1. #1
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    Better metaphor than "As old as the hills"?

    The thread on "Hot enough to melt lead" reminded me of this one from one of my middle school or high school English classes. We were called upon to think of alternatives to "As old as the hills" as something that seems ancient to us. One suggestion from the teacher was something like "As old as the (whatever doodads) on Grandmother's shoes." That went over like a lead balloon with me because my grandparents wore shoes just like the ones my parents and I wore, and it was pretty much the same for my classmates. We had no mental pictures of whatever was on the hypothetical grandmother's shoes. "Old as the hills" was about as good as it gets as far as we were concerned, because the hills themselves are very old and we all know it, and we are familiar with them. I don't know whether the teacher came up with that on her own or whether she was pushed into it by bureaucrats who come up with new wrinkles to justify their jobs.

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    "Older than Moses's toeses and twice as corny" was a metaphor I recall hearing a lot regarding old or stale jokes.

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    I heard of, old as Moses, but I never knew anything about his toes or foot ware.

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    Older than dirt
    When God was a young man
    When Adam had all his ribs (ok; I just made up that one)



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    How about some science based ones? Like, maybe . . .

    As old as the electroweak epoch.

    As old as the cosmic dark ages.

    As old as a population III star.

    Or a bit more recent:

    As old as my pet trilobite.

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    As old as a carcass with undetectable levels of carbon-14.
    As above, so below

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    As old as the valleys
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    I found a great idiom that is a synonym to the idiom ``as old as the hills``. It is ``as old as Adam``.My point of view is that ``as old as Adam``even sounds better
    But still here I read a lot of interesting idioms

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    "As old as the hills" has the advantage of being as old as the Old Testament--it comes from the relentlessly upbeat Book of Job.

    If we're allowed to depart from simile, one of my old bosses, in his later years, used to cacklingly describe himself as "Older than sin." I quite liked that--it has an edgy present loucheness, while implying a lost past of golden innocence.

    Grant Hutchison

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    As old as Methuselah's mom.

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    So old that when God said "let there be light", I flipped the switch.

    So old Neanderthals call me "old man".

    Agriculture? Cities? Metal? Kids these days.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Older than dirt
    "Old as dirt" or "older than dirt" were always the most common in my family.

    "As old as the hills" would be around 14,000 years old around here; that's when the glaciers retreated.

    I have also said "That joke's so old, I kicked all the slats out of my crib the first time I heard it"
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    "As old as the hills" has the advantage of being as old as the Old Testament--it comes from the relentlessly upbeat Book of Job.

    If we're allowed to depart from simile, one of my old bosses, in his later years, used to cacklingly describe himself as "Older than sin." I quite liked that--it has an edgy present loucheness, while implying a lost past of golden innocence.

    Grant Hutchison
    I did not know that old testament derivation, following Lyle, And his revalations, we could say as old as sand, sand being broken down earlier mountains. Sin of course, also OT, comes after apples, but apples are younger than sand, or some sand.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    I did not know that old testament derivation...
    Job 15:7 "Art thou the first man that was born? Or wast thou made before the hills?"

    Grant Hutchison

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    Older than a CAI in a carbonaceous chondrite.

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    Older than dirt in dog years. Haven't heard that one in donkey's years.
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    I once referred to a doctor of mine as having been in God's yearbook as a faculty member.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I once referred to a doctor of mine as having been in God's yearbook as a faculty member.
    Being old as dirt myself, I haven't had a doctor as old as me in a couple of decades!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    While I was still working in USAF aircraft maintenance, our Deputy Commander for Maintenance and the Maintenance Chief come up for retirement on or near the same date, so their retirement party was made a joint operation. They were both had 30 years on active duty (at least) so they were introduced at the party as the copilot and crew chief at Kitty Hawk.

    Incidentally, the Chief enlisted in the Air National Guard in 1950, some years before converting to active duty. So, at the time of his retirement he had been associated with the Air Force for all but three years of its history. So, older than dirt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Incidentally, the Chief enlisted in the Air National Guard in 1950, some years before converting to active duty. So, at the time of his retirement he had been associated with the Air Force for all but three years of its history. So, older than dirt.
    Out of the four elements, shouldn't he be described as older than air.
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    "Older than chaos"

    "Not only am I older than dirt, I voted against it three times."
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Being old as dirt myself, I haven't had a doctor as old as me in a couple of decades!
    This doctor was. I saw him something like fifteen years ago, and I believe he was in his 80s at the time. Which is old for a practicing psychiatrist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    "Older than chaos"

    "Not only am I older than dirt, I voted against it three times."
    Like the lawyer who told the surgeon and engineer his job was the oldest because while God made Adam fall asleep and removed his rib (surgery) and constructed the heavens and the earth (engineering)... “Who do you think created all the chaos?”
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
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    In Dutch, we have "as old as the road to Rome".

    And then we have something that translates as "stick old". Yes. That doesn't make sense to us either, in itself. Origin: people used to say "sitting stick still", meaning eg "a bird sitting as still as a stick". Which still makes sense. From there, "stick" was used as "very" in other combinations as well, such as "stick old". Which makes no sense yet here we are.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  25. #25
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    Somewhat in the same vein is the expression I’ve heard, “when God was a child.”
    Information about American English usage here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Somewhat in the same vein is the expression I’ve heard, “when God was a child.”
    Which makes me think of the Far Side cartoon.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    The BBC's Scottish Political Editor, Brian Taylor (an insightful, thoughtful and erudite man), retired today. He described himself as having done the job "since Braveheart was a boy".

    (He was also given formal thanks and a round of applause by the Scottish Parliament. A journalist thanked for his service by politicians--there's a thing you don't see every day.)

    Grant Hutchison

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    On the topic of old, we have a saying that goes something like, “She’s had that item since the year of the flood.” I presume the reference is to the Biblical flood.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

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    Where we live that wouldn't work. Unless she's had it since 1953.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Almost as old as Keith Richards/Betty White.

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