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I had a lovely time.

 and We had a lovely time.
a polite expression of thanks to the host or hostess. Fred: Good-bye. I had a lovely time. Bill: Nice to have you. Do come again. Jane: We had a lovely time. Mary: Thank you and thanks for coming.
See also: lovely, time

I've had a lovely time.

 and We've had a lovely time.
a polite expression said to a host or hostess on departure. Bob: I've had a lovely time. Thanks for asking me. Fred: We're just delighted you could come. Good night. Bob: Good night. Sue: We've had a lovely time. Good night. Bill: Next time don't stay away so long. Good night.
See also: lovely, time

Lovely weather for ducks,

 and Fine weather for ducks.
Cliché a greeting meaning that this unpleasant rainy weather must be good for something. Bill: Hi, Bob. How do you like this weather? Bob: Lovely weather for ducks. Sally: What a lot of rain! Tom: Yeah. Lovely weather for ducks. Don't care for it much myself.
See also: duck, lovely, weather

thank you for a lovely evening

an expression said by a departing guest to the host or hostess at the end of an evening. (Other adjectives, such as nice, can be used in place of lovely.) Mary: Thank you for a lovely evening. John: Will I see you again? Bill: Thank you for a nice evening. Mary: Thank you so much for coming. Good night.
See also: evening, lovely, thank

thank you for a lovely time

an expression said by a departing guest to the host or hostess. (Other adjectives, such as nice, can be used in place of lovely.) Bill: Thank you for a nice time. Mary: Thank you so much for coming. Bye now. John: Thank you so much for coming. Jane: Well, thank you for a lovely time. John: Don't stay away so long next time.
See also: lovely, thank, time
References in classic literature ?
Margaret Devereux was one of the loveliest creatures I ever saw, Harry.
Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw.
She wore a white muslin dress, a rose- colored sash, and rose-colored ribbons in the pretty cap on her head; her chemisette was moulded so deliciously by her shoulders and the loveliest rounded contours, that the sight of her awakened an irresistible desire of possession in the depths of the heart.
Her delicately formed ears, her vermilion hands, her little feet, curved and tender as the lotus-bud, glitter with the brilliancy of the loveliest pearls of Ceylon, the most dazzling diamonds of Golconda.
Mercedes might have been a queen, sir, if the crown were to be placed on the heads of the loveliest and most intelligent.
As the huntress Diana goes forth upon the mountains of Taygetus or Erymanthus to hunt wild boars or deer, and the wood nymphs, daughters of Aegis-bearing Jove, take their sport along with her (then is Leto proud at seeing her daughter stand a full head taller than the others, and eclipse the loveliest amid a whole bevy of beauties), even so did the girl outshine her handmaids.
Such I was, from eight to eight and twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth
It is a stately church, surrounded by an inclosure of the loveliest green, within which appear urns, pillars, obelisks, and other forms of monumental marble, the tributes of private affection, or more splendid memorials of historic dust.
These, however, were now a little past their bloom; and wishing to give her friends the freshest and loveliest blossoms, she strayed farther into the fields, and found some that made her scream with delight.
He thought her prettiness comparable to the loveliest things in confectionery; he judged her to be of submissive temper--likely to wait upon him as well as if she had been a negress, and to be silently terrified when his liver made him irritable; and he considered the Palfrey family quite the best in the parish, possessing marriageable daughters.
Nature seems to make a hot pause just then: all the loveliest flowers are gone; the sweet time of early growth and vague hopes is past; and yet the time of harvest and ingathering is not come, and we tremble at the possible storms that may ruin the precious fruit in the moment of its ripeness.
The Warden, a tall dignified man with a grave but very pleasant face, was seated before a writing-table, which was covered with papers, and holding on his knee one of the sweetest and loveliest little maidens it has ever been my lot to see.
And those that held Pherae by the Boebean lake, with Boebe, Glaphyrae, and the populous city of Iolcus, these with their eleven ships were led by Eumelus, son of Admetus, whom Alcestis bore to him, loveliest of the daughters of Pelias.
It was as lovely in my eyes as the loveliest village of the plain, and it had the advantage of realizing the Deserted Village without being deserted.
The loveliest tinkle as of golden bells answered him.