the good/bad old days

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the good old days

A past period of better times. Often used to describe a time that one believes was better, simpler, or more wholesome than the current period. Ah, those were the good old days. Did you know I was captain of the football team back then? Were the good old days really that good? I think your memory is a bit rosier than reality.
See also: days, good, old

good old days

back in an earlier time which everyone remembers as a better time, even if it really wasn't. Back in the good old days, during World War I, they used real cactus needles in record players. The good old days didn't start until they had indoor bathrooms.
See also: days, good, old

the good old days

COMMON People use the good old days to talk about a time in the past when they think life was better. Brad's dead, and sitting around talking about the good old days isn't going to bring him back. In the good old days, the studios were able to look after stars when there wasn't much work.
See also: days, good, old

the ˈgood/ˈbad old days

an earlier period of time in your life or in history that is seen as better/worse than the present: That was in the bad old days of very high inflation.
See also: bad, days, good, old
References in classic literature ?
I wanted vampires and the bad old days and aristocracy hand-in-hand with superstition.
With an almost daily flood of horror stories from Westminster it feels a dam has burst and going back to the bad old days is not an option.
Nicola Sturgeon warned yesterday that a vote for Theresa May will take the country back to the bad old days of Margaret Thatcher.
The cat is out of the bag: behind closed doors the Tories are planning a return to the bad old days of grammar schools, ignoring all the evidence" Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner.
I'm sure we don't want to go back to the bad old days when men were lined up along the dockside and chosen by the dock gaffer to work that day.
It was back to the bad old days for Satellite at Newbury.
We are drifting back to the bad old days of the 1930s and yet we are classed as one of the richest countries in the world.
Back to the bad old days before the system was put in place, entrance doors were being kicked in if someone wanted access without a fob; the stairs, landings and lifts will all be a free for all for anyone and homeless people to doss in, which is quite unnerving.
He has led us through some truly difficult times, all the time being attacked both from the right wing Tory led coalition government and from the hard left, who want to lead us back into the bad old days of the 1980s.
30pm BBC One) WITH Sharon, pictured, pouting menacingly at Ronnie and brandishing Carl's broken phone, this week's episodes are starting to feel worryingly like EastEnders has returned to the bad old days of BC (Before the Carters).
30pm BBC One) WITH Sharon pouting menacingly at Ronnie and brandishing Carl's broken phone, this week's episodes are starting to feel worryingly like EastEnders has returned to the bad old days of BC (Before the Carters).
We don't want a return to the bad old days when banks call the shots and hold the economy to ransom.
Accounts of all their actions during the controversy over Newcastle Council's budget cuts recall the bad old days when Labour held a permanent grip on power in the city, and were free to bully and bulldoze.
I am absolutely clear: We will not let recent events drag us back to the bad old days of the past.
The lesson of the last couple of months is that you can never be complacent and the Prime Minister is very, very concerned to make sure that we don't go back to the bad old days but also that we are absolutely on our mettle to make sure that the football authorities and the Government continue to do everything we can to stamp out this problem.