Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
(a) quarter of (a given hour in time)
A quarter of an hour (15 minutes) before the named hour in time (e.g., "quarter of six" would mean 5:45). Primarily heard in US. A: "What time does the movie start?" B: "Not until a quarter of eight, so we've got plenty of time!" I thought I'd be home already, but with this traffic, it'll be quarter of before I'm back.
quarter past (a given hour in time)
A quarter of an hour (15 minutes) after the named hour in time. A: "What time does the movie start?" B: "Not until a quarter past eight, so we've got plenty of time!" I thought I'd be home already, but with this traffic, it'll be quarter past before I'm back.
up to eleven
To an intense, excessive, or extreme degree; at or beyond the maximum amount or normal threshold. (Coined in the 1984 comedy film This is Spinal Tap, referring to the guitar player's amplifier going to eleven, as opposed to the traditional limit of ten.) Some of the best nights we had when we were teenagers were spent just driving aimlessly, cranking the car stereo up to eleven. Whenever our parents' fighting got up to eleven, my sister and I made ourselves scarce.
film at 11
A phrase used in broadcast journalism during clips of news stories that are to be featured in greater detail later (when a news program airs, traditionally at 11 PM). Although it was once reserved for serious news stories, the phrase is often used now in a joking or sarcastic manner in conversation or news parodies. A five-alarm fire engulfs a historical landmark—film at 11. Ooh, Jill and Megan are fighting again! Film at 11!
at the tender age of
This phrase is used to emphasize how young one was when one did something in particular. (The age is stated after "of.") I'm not surprised to hear that he was doing science experiments at the tender age of seven—he's a child genius!