back number


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back number

Someone or something that is out of date, out of fashion, or no longer relevant. Alludes to an issue of a periodical, magazine, or any serial publication that is now out of date. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. While it created quite a controversy in its time, the movie's love scene is a bit of a back number by today's standard. The singer was a huge star in the 1980s, but she's just a back number now.
See also: back, number
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

back number

Dated, out of style. For example, That hat is really a back number, or The game has changed so fast that a player who returns to the circuit after several years' absence usually finds he or she is a back number . This term originally referred to back issues of periodicals, which are no longer newsworthy. [Late 1800s]
See also: back, number
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a back number

If you call someone a back number, you mean that they are no longer useful or successful. This veteran jockey showed he was no back number by coming third out of a field of 24. Note: A back number of a magazine or newspaper is an edition of it that was published some time ago and is not the most recent.
See also: back, number
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a back number

1 an issue of a periodical before the current one. 2 a person whose ideas or methods are out of date and who is no longer relevant or useful.
See also: back, number
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

back number

n. an old-fashioned person. (Like an out-of-print issue of a magazine.) Some old back number wearing gaiters wants to have a word with you.
See also: back, number
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

back number

Something or someone outdated. The term comes from the back issues of newspapers and other periodicals, which carry items no longer new and events no longer current. The term began to be used figuratively in the late nineteenth century in the United States.
See also: back, number
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
However, he showed when fourth in last year's World Hurdle that he is no back number and he left the same impression on his first start since when runner-up in last month's Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran.
Furious Fergie is not exactly a back number at 68, and at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger still has much to achieve now that he has turned 60.
Young Mick has a record here second to none - he has been in the Ascot winner's enclosure no fewer than four times - and he's no back number yet, judged on a halflength verdict over Classic Punch.
Morley could also be a bit of an old jibber andmost people thought he was a back number when he lined up for the Martell Hurdle against a quality field and the finish to that race was the closest I've ever come to a heart attack.
The Middlesbrough boss was thought to be a back number in the race to replace Sven-Goran Eriksson after a traumatic spell when the club plunged towards the relegation zone.
My back number Posts were waiting my attention on my return home in which I found Lisa Piddington's 'One Happy Island' report on Aruba in the travel section of April 27.
His stats on artificial surfaces are impressive, winning two of his three starts, but after finishing just a short head behind Prevent at Headquarters, he is clearly no back number on grass.
Gevrey Chambertin proved he is no back number with a resurgent frontrunning victory at Carlisle.
Seabass showed the benefit of that outing and that he was far from being a back number when running away from his younger rivals to take a novice hurdle over two and a half miles in the hands of Katie Walsh.
His Aintree reappearance suggests he remains no back number and a repeat isn't out of the question, although younger legs are generally preferred.
At Fishers Cross (2.20) is given a last chance to confirm he is no back number with the Rebecca Curtis yard in such great form.
The nine-year-old can show he is still no back number by coming out on top in the David Chapman Memorial Handicap.
Lungo's charge showed he was no back number by storming home over today's distance at Haydock on his latest outing.
The David Nicholls-trained seven-year-old has fallen to a good-looking handicap mark and is clearly no back number despite his advancing years.
But on his previous start he showed he was no back number by finishing third in the Gold Cup and, with Paul Nicholls' horses in such form, it makes sense to go for him.