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40 acres and a mule
1. Something given by the government. The phrase refers to a promise made during the Civil War by Union general William T. Sherman that freed slaves would receive 40 acres of land and a mule. However, after the war that land was given back to its original owners. I'm doing just fine on my own—I don't need 40 acres and a mule from Uncle Sam.
2. A promise or assurance that proves to be false. I think he's just tempting us with that offer, and it'll turn out to be 40 acres and a mule.
be (on) the right side of (an age)
To be younger than a certain age. You can get away with dressing like a teenager when you're still on the right side of 30. I was never sore after working out when I was on the right side of 40!
be (on) the wrong side of (an age)
To be older than a certain age. Why is she dressing like a teenager when she is clearly the wrong side of 40? I'm sore after every workout these days, so I'm definitely on the wrong side of 30!
be pushing (an age)
To be approaching a particular age. I was never sore after my workouts until I was pushing 40.
See also: pushing
catch forty winks
To sleep for a short time; to take a nap. Dad's upstairs catching forty winks before dinner.
forty minutes of hell
In collegiate basketball, the entire duration (40 minutes) of a game played in a suffocating and aggressive manner against one's opponents. 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!
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.
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.
A nap or a brief sleep. When you have a baby for the first time, you are suddenly forced to learn how to operate on only forty winks at a time. I'm going to go grab a quick forty winks before everyone starts arriving for the dinner party.
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.
See also: go
have forty winks
To sleep for a short time; to take a nap. I had forty winks before we left for dinner, so I might actually stay awake now!
life begins at 40
cliché One has the skills, experience, and means by age 40 to truly enjoy life to its fullest. A: "I'm so depressed that I'm going to turn 40 next year." B: "Come on, Tom, life begins at 40. You've still got all sorts of adventures ahead of you!"
take forty winks
To sleep for a short time; to take a nap. I took forty winks before we left for dinner, so I might actually stay awake now!
the sunny side of (an age)
Just a little bit younger than a landmark age, such as 20, 30, 40, etc. The thriller centers on a young journalist on the sunny side of 30 discovering the treacherous world of politics in Washington, D.C. What would you know about a business like this? You're still on the sunny side of 20!
catch forty winksand 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.
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.
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.
forty winksOLD-FASHIONED, INFORMAL
If you have forty winks, you have a short sleep. He always has forty winks after supper.
forty winksa short sleep or nap, especially during the day. informal
This expression dates from the early 19th century, but wink in the sense of ‘a closing of the eyes for sleep’ is found from the late 14th century.
forty ˈwinks(informal) a short sleep, especially during the day: I managed to get forty winks after lunch.
be ˌpushing ˈ40, ˈ50, etc.(informal) be nearly 40, 50, etc. years old: My grandmother’s pushing eighty but she’s as fit as ever.
See also: pushing
be on the ˌright/ˌwrong side of ˈ40, ˈ50, etc.(informal, often humorous) be younger/older than 40, 50, etc: ‘How old is she?’ ‘On the wrong side of forty, I’d say.’
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.
A short nap. A wink has meant a sleep since the fourteenth century, when William Langland wrote “Thenne Wakede I of my wink” (Piers Ploughman, 1377). There is an apocryphal story about the origin of forty winks, stemming from an article in Punch (1872), the English humor magazine, about the long and tedious articles of faith required for Church of England clergy (“If a man, after reading through the thirty-nine Articles, were to take forty winks . . .”). However appealing this source, the term had appeared in print nearly a half-century earlier (in Pierce Egan’s Tom and Jerry, 1828), and its true origin has apparently been lost.