young


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eat (one's) young

To neglect, betray, or harshly criticize members of a group that are of a lower status or position. The more experienced nursing staff has been accused of eating their young, treating trainees and new nurses with sometimes intolerable contempt. As the business crumbled, the CEOs and members of management began eating their young out of desperation, indiscriminately firing anyone who had less than five years' experience in the company.
See also: eat, young

young fogey

A young person who acts older than they are, due to conservative and/or outdated beliefs and behaviors. A play on the more common phrase "old fogey"—and older person with outdated ideals. Primarily heard in UK. You don't want to come to the club? Ah, you're such a young fogey. I can't believe you're going to bed early on a Saturday night so that you can go to church in the morning—you're such a young fogey!
See also: fogey, young

young lady

1. A girl, typically one who is between adolescence and adulthood. You are becoming quite the responsible young lady.
2. An admonishment for a girl, typically given by her parents. You are in so much trouble, young lady! I can't believe you borrowed my car without my permission!
See also: lady, young

young man

1. A boy, typically one who is between adolescence and adulthood. You are becoming quite the responsible young man.
2. An admonishment for a boy, typically given by his parents. You are in so much trouble, young man! I can't believe you borrowed my car without my permission!
See also: man, young

young once

A phrase emphasizing that someone will not be young forever. Typically used in the phrase "you're only young once." You need to go skydiving with us. Come on, you're only young once—it's time for an adventure!
See also: once, young

bright young thing

A young person who is exuberant, ambitious, and glamorous. A: "Daisy is a bright young thing, isn't she?" B: "I know! I wish I had an ounce of her verve and style."
See also: bright, thing, young

only the good die young

A phrase typically used as a source of comfort after someone has died at a young age. I know that only the good die young, but I'm still heartbroken to have lost my best friend—she was just 20 years old and had her whole life ahead of her! He was just the kindest person, and only the good die young.
See also: die, good, young

sweet young thing

A cute, innocent young girl or woman. You are 60 years old! How, in good conscience, can you date that sweet young thing? I love spending time with my niece, she's such a sweet young thing.
See also: sweet, thing, young

while we're young

slang Hurry up! The phrase suggests that one might wait so long for something as to reach old age. Come on, make a decision while we're young! While we're young, Jim! We need to get going!
See also: young

you can't put an old head on young shoulders

A young person cannot be expected to have or display the wisdom and sound judgment of an older person. I know that you can't put an old head on young shoulders, and yet, I still get so frustrated with my son and the ridiculous things that he does!
See also: head, old, on, put, shoulder, young

you can't put a wise head on young shoulders

A young person cannot be expected to have or display the wisdom and sound judgment of an older person. I know that you can't put an wise head on young shoulders, and yet, I still get so frustrated with my son and the ridiculous things that he does!
See also: head, on, put, shoulder, wise, young

younger brother

One's younger male sibling. Yeah, I have a younger brother—his name is Jim. Johnny is Bella's younger brother.
See also: brother, young

younger sister

One's younger female sibling. Yeah, I have a younger sister—her name is Jill. Bella is Johnny's younger sister.
See also: sister, young

an old head on young shoulders

A young person who acts or speaks like an older person. Katie may only be 13, but she is so insightful. She's really an old head on young shoulders. Tommy seems like an old head on young shoulders since he's always repeating the outdated phrases he hears from his grandmother.
See also: head, old, on, shoulder, young

better be an old man's darling than a young man's slave

It is better for a woman to marry an old man who treats her well than a controlling young man. If anyone says that Lord Alistair is too old for you, just remember: better be an old man's darling than a young man's slave.
See also: better, darling, old, slave, young

young blood

1. Young, enthusiastic people. This company needs an infusion of young blood before it becomes completely irrelevant in today's world.
2. A newcomer to some place or situation. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to take orders from some young blood who's only been with the company five minutes.
3. A young black man. In this usage, the phrase is often written as one word ("youngblood"). Hey youngblood, how's it going?
See also: blood, young

Better be an old man's darling than a young man's slave.

Prov. A young woman should prefer to marry an old man who dotes on her rather than a young man who may treat her badly. When Mr. Nash proposed to me, I thought he was too old, but my mother advised me, "Better be an old man's darling than a young man's slave." When Marion's friends objected that her fiance was much too old for her, she said, "Better be an old man's darling than a young man's slave."
See also: better, darling, old, slave, young

(The) good die young.

Prov. Good people tend to die at an early age. Marshall's twenty-year-old son died in a car crash; it did not comfort Marshall to think that the good die young. Jill: It doesn't seem fair that Laurie is dead. She was such a wonderful person. Jane: They always say that the good die young.
See also: die, good, young

not as young as one used to be

Fig. getting old. Aunt Lila isn't as young as she used to be. She can't take a lot of trips anymore. Don't walk so fast! I'm not as young as I used to be. It takes me awhile to catch up.
See also: not, one, used, young

Whom the gods love die young.

Prov. Virtuous or gifted people die at an early age, because the gods want those people to be with them in the afterlife. So many brilliant authors and artists died before the age of fifty that it's easy to believe that whom the gods love die young.
See also: die, god, love, whom, young

*young at heart

having a youthful spirit no matter what one's age. (*Typically: act ~; be ~; keep someone ~; stay ~.) I am over 70 but I still feel young at heart.
See also: heart, young

Young men may die, but old men must die.

Prov. Young people may be killed by accidents or disease, but old people cannot avoid dying for very long, simply because they are old. When Grandfather was so sick, he told us, "Don't feel too bad if I pass on; it's my time. Young men may die, old men must die." I'm afraid old Mr. Ferris won't live much longer. Young men may die, but old men must die.
See also: but, die, may, men, must, old, young

young at heart

Having a youthful outlook, especially in spite of one's age. For example, She loves carnivals and fairs; she's a grandmother but she's young at heart.
See also: heart, young

young blood

If you talk about young blood, you mean new, young people who are brought into an organization to introduce new ideas and energy. The family business was badly in need of young blood. The selectors have gone for some young blood, fielding a side whose average age is just 26. Note: You can also talk about young bloods, meaning the young people in an organisation or doing a particular activity. Floyd proved he can still compete with the young bloods by becoming the oldest winner of the US Open at 43. Compare with new blood.
See also: blood, young

young blood

1. n. a newcomer. We keep young bloods so busy they never have a chance to look out the window.
2. n. a young, black male. (see also blood.) Tell that young blood to beat it.
See also: blood, young

young Turk

n. a contentious young person who goes against the system. The young Turks are acting up again.
See also: young

with young

Pregnant. Used of an animal.
See also: young
References in periodicals archive ?
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Even in the face of limited family and community support, all young people will seek ways to meet their basic needs and gain the competencies and skills necessary to move from adolescence to adulthood.