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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 ?
Large game declined slightly in importance--to about 80 percent of all prey--beginning around 45,000 years ago.
Two years ago, 90 percent of managers indicated that engineers were learning systems engineering, as did 63 percent of current engineers.
Ten years ago we were fascinated with all things Russian--ballets, dance training, dance politics, dancers--possibly as a result of that vast country having been closed for so long to our curious probings.
Price 1 Day Ago greater than Price 2 Days Ago (Recent-1D greater than Recent-2D)
More than 20 million years ago, however, the region would have sat close to sea level along the Pacific coast, she notes.
If this pace continued for all of this year, 513,745 properties would change hands, down from 608,160 a year ago, the association said.
73 million, a 36% hike from a year ago and a new record.
Neandertals lived on southwestern Europe's Iberian coast until about 24,000 years ago, sharing the area for several thousand years with modern humans before dying out.
The most recent round of price increases was about two weeks ago.
Two months ago, just 14 percent of county households could afford a home priced at the median $543,890, said the Los Angeles-based California Association of Realtors.
5% vacancy rate and the availability of 5,608,813 square feet one year ago.
Simply look at the number of analyst recommendations now in comparison to the number of analyst recommendations four weeks ago.
3% from a month ago and 9% from the same month a year ago.
Northwest Airlines flight attendants set up a showdown with the bankrupt carrier late yesterday, rejecting the tentative agreement reached two weeks ago in "around-the-clock negotiations" between NWA and the Assn.