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four score and seven years ago

Eighty-seven years ago. (A "score" is a set of 20 items.) The iconic first line of US President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, the speech he delivered at the dedication of the national cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Lincoln gave this speech in 1863—87 years after 1776, the year of the founding of the United States. Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
See also: ago, and, four, score, seven, year

many moons ago

A long time in the past. I used to be quite the athlete, many moons ago.
See also: ago, many, moon

a while back

Also, a while ago. Some time in the past, as in I ran into Barbara a while back but didn't get her new address, or John wrote me a while ago about his new baby. This term uses a while in the sense of "a short or moderate time," a usage dating from about 1300.
See also: back, while

long ago

A time well before the present, the distant past. For example, I read that book long ago, or The battles of long ago were just as fierce. [Second half of 1300s]
See also: ago, long

many moons ago

a long time ago. informal
The reference here is to the phases of the moon marking out the months.
See also: ago, many, moon

many ˈmoons ago

(literary) a very long time ago: Many moons ago, when I was young...
See also: ago, many, moon

long ago

1. At a time or during a period well before the present: I read that book long ago.
2. A time well before the present: heroes of long ago.
See also: ago, long
References in periodicals archive ?
Especially in Hawthorne, it's more important to get the 'gist and swat' agoing than to slow up to get the written notes," Ives once said (Memos 191).
And after supper he talked to him about temperance and such things till the old man cried, and said he'd been a fool, and fooled away his life; but now he was agoing to turn over a new leaf and be a man nobody wouldn't be ashamed of, and he hoped the judge would help him and not look down on him.
If Melville's Everyman, feet set agoing, would inexorably head for water and for meditations on nature and the ideal, Hawthorne's, it seems, would as determinedly set off for the nearest graveyard, intending ruminations on dust and mortality.
After a relatively benign couple of days, it was surely only agoing to be a matter of time before something sinister dropped out of a darkly threatening Lancashire sky.
AGoing to the theatre with my step-mum when I was about four.
AGOING OUT Save a tenner at Frankie and Benny's when you buy two mains (Sunday to Thursday only and excluding Monday after 5pm).
Gary Lee, from administrators Begbies Traynor, said there was little interest in the business as agoing concern.
Tom's most well, now, and got his bullet around his neck on a watch-guard for a watch, and is always seeing what time it is, and so there ain't nothing more to write about, and I am rotten glad of it, because if I'd a knowed what a trouble it was to make a book I wouldn't a tackled it and ain't agoing to no more.
Thngy you agoing to bfling must buson btting youown lif.
AGOING out with someone when you don't even like them is a pretty stupid idea.