forty


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forty minutes of hell

In collegiate basketball, the entire duration (40 minutes) of a game played in a suffocatingly aggressive manner. The phrase was reportedly coined by Nolan Richardson while coaching the Arkansas Razorbacks in the mid-1990s. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. OK, everyone, go out there and give them forty minutes of hell—don't even give them a chance to breathe!
See also: forty, hell, minute, of

forty ways from Sunday

Thoroughly or completely; in every possible way; from every conceivable angle. Everyone had their money on the reigning champion, but he was beaten forty ways from Sunday by the newcomer. We researched the case forty ways from Sunday, but there didn't seem to be any way that we could win with the evidence at hand.
See also: forty, Sunday, way

forty ways to Sunday

Thoroughly or completely; in every possible way; from every conceivable angle. Everyone had their money on the reigning champion, but he was beaten forty ways to Sunday by the newcomer. We researched the case forty ways to Sunday, but there didn't seem to be any way that we could win with the evidence at hand.
See also: forty, Sunday, way

back forty

Sprawling, uncultivated acreage, as would be found on a farm. I often go to the back forty of my property when I need some quiet time to think.
See also: back, forty

go two-forty

To move very quickly; to race. The phrase refers to a horse racing record of a mile completed in two minutes and 40 seconds. I need to start going two-forty through this paperwork if I want to have it done by the deadline.

catch forty winks

 and take forty winks; have forty winks
Fig. to take a nap; to get some sleep. I'll just catch forty winks before getting ready for the party. I think I'll go to bed and take forty winks. See you in the morning.
See also: catch, forty, wink

forty winks

Fig. a nap; some sleep. I could use forty winks before I have to get to work. I need forty winks before I get started again.
See also: forty, wink

Life begins at forty.

Prov. By the time you are forty years old, you have enough experience and skill to do what you want to do with your life. (Often said as an encouragement to those reaching middle age.) Alan: Why are you so depressed? Jane: Tomorrow's my fortieth birthday. Alan: Cheer up! Life begins at forty. For Pete, life began at forty, because by that time he had enough financial security to enjoy himself now and then, rather than having to work all the time.
See also: begin, forty, life

forty winks

  (informal)
a short sleep during the day She just had time to put her feet up and catch forty winks before dinner.
See also: forty, wink

forty winks

A brief nap, as in There's just time for forty winks before we have to leave. This expression supposedly was first recorded in 1828 and relies on wink in the sense of "sleep," a usage dating from the 14th century.
See also: forty, wink

forty winks

n. a nap; sleep. (Usually with a quantifier. Either forty or some, a few, a bunch of, etc.) I could use forty winks before I have to get to work.
See also: forty, wink

Forty acres and a mule

A a government handout; a broken promise. As Union general William T. Sherman marched through Georgia and other parts of the confederacy during the Civil War, he promised freed slaves the gift of forty acres of South Carolina and Georgia farmland and an army mule with which to work the soil. Following the war, however, President Johnson rescinded Sherman's order, and the appropriated land was restored to its owners. While most citizens adopted the phrase as a metaphor for either any form of government handout (or a trifling salary or bonus from their employer), African-Americans who remembered the expression's history used it as a rueful reminder of a offer that was reneged upon.
See also: acre, and, forty, mule
References in classic literature ?
During one of these visits he completed his estimates of the rate of movement of the glacier which had swallowed up the three guides, and uttered the prediction that the glacier would deliver up its dead at the foot of the mountain thirty-five years from the time of the accident, or possibly forty.
There is something weirdly pathetic about the picture of that white-haired veteran greeting with his loving handshake this friend who had been dead forty years.
Under the other cardinal," continued D'Artagnan, "we didn't know enough to make our profits; this, however, doesn't concern you, with your forty thousand francs income, the happiest man in the world, it seems to me.
At the same time," continued D'Artagnan, "notwithstanding your forty thousand francs a year, and perhaps even for the very reason that you have forty thousand francs a year, it seems to me that a little coronet would do well on your carriage, hey?
cried the cardinal, in a tone of vexation; "there are not yet forty millions
No, monseigneur; there want seven hundred and forty thousand livres.
They failed to make Forty Mile that night, and when they passed that camp next day Daylight paused only long enough to get the mail and additional grub.
It was the WHITE MOUSE that was offering him forty dollars, and the story was "The Whirlpool," another of his early horror stories.
He called for pen and ink, and told the editor he could cut the story down three-thirds if he wanted to, and to send the forty dollars right along.
The old man's been reading some of them magazine articles about men who succeeded after forty," Annie jibed.
say) forty thousand pounds--and, I fear, no remittances to cover them.
Thus pondering, and cradled by forty thoughts, it overtaketh me all at once--sleep, the unsummoned, the lord of the virtues.
Walking some forty paces away, Sergey Ivanovitch, knowing he was out of sight, stood still behind a bushy spindle-tree in full flower with its rosy red catkins.
I passed young Chavon along the road, an'--I don't know why--just for ducks, I guess--I up an' asked 'm if he thought the old man would lease the hundred an' forty to me.
The saviour of his country and his country's religion, the friend of his poor countrymen, the enemy of the proud and harsh; beloved of the rejected and oppressed, adored by forty thousand bold and loyal English hearts--what happy slumbers his should be