at an unearthly hour

at an unearthly hour

Very early in the morning or very late at night. This phrase usually indicates the speaker's exasperation. Other determiners, such as "this" or "some," can be used in place of "an." Who is calling at this unearthly hour? The sun isn't even up yet! Only your sister would come to our house at an unearthly hour like this. Doesn't she realize that we were sleeping?
See also: hour, unearthly

at an unˌearthly/unˌgodly ˈhour

(informal) very early or very late, especially when this is annoying: The job involved getting up at some unearthly hour to catch the first train.I heard him come home at some ungodly hour again last night.
See also: hour, unearthly, ungodly
References in classic literature ?
We prowled around for sheer delight over being there at an unearthly hour when everybody supposed we were sound asleep in our beds.
The old man turned me out at an unearthly hour this morning, and in Sheringham all the shops were closed.
You haven't come to the other side of the world to confine yourselves to the kitchen," they said, as they awakened us at an unearthly hour even by local standards (making it sometime in the middle of the night for us, who were jet-lagged and behind them by five-seven hours).
Now we get water in our taps at an unearthly hour -- from 3 to 6 in the morning.
Once again, the welcome was warm and friendly - and, despite our protestations, because of our very early start, Paul insisted on getting up at an unearthly hour to feed us in the morning.
Nigh nine months later, reality kicked in At an unearthly hour our new lives begin, Feeding and nursing, and pacing the floor, Changing and bathing and changing once more.
In addition, one would imagine the majority of racing professionals (owners, trainers, stable staff, jockeys, etc) would welcome the prospect of an earlier end to the working day, given that many of the industry's hard-working individuals are up at an unearthly hour on a daily basis also.
There's the stress of packing your suitcase, the horror of leaving your home at an unearthly hour and the trauma of getting, man- (or woman) handled at airport security.
It is only when you check that you learn these are police-chartered helicopters that seem to find the time to wake up hard-working citizens at an unearthly hour and cause much distress to many persons, including the elderly, who may be on their own.
This is an opportunity for these people to come and hand themselves in, before they get a knock at the door at an unearthly hour in the morning.
I didn't have to drag myself out of bed at an unearthly hour and drive into the office in the dark while feeling lousy.
And knowing that he needed to get the upper hand in any way possible, the Trinidad and Tobago keeper was really tempted to call his old mate at an unearthly hour.
The next morning after the lady angler landed her three, I got up at an unearthly hour and headed down to the river.
For that he has to get up at an unearthly hour,milk the cows,feed the cows,bed the cows,do the fieldwork,maintainhis machinery,clean out the slurry, do the fencing, tend topoorly cows,get his cows back in calf, milk them again, tobe repeated seven days a week.
He regularly chortles over the activities of the "milkman" - a journalist sent to catch out the rich and famous on the doorsteps of their homes, usually at an unearthly hour.