old gray mare

old gray mare

old-fashioned Something or someone that is aged, obsolete, or outdated . An allusion to the folk song "Old Gray Mare," especially its opening line: "The old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be." It's (rare) modern use is usually somewhat derogatory. It may not have fancy apps or let me surf the Internet, but this old gray mare is still the only phone I need. I may be an old gray mare, but I still know how to get up and cut a rug on the dance floor.
See also: gray, mare, old
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the old gray mare

The passage of time. A folk song attributed to Stephen Foster and supposedly referring to a 19th-century harness-racing horse named Lady Suffolk begins, “Oh, the old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be . . . Many long years ago.” Unkind people used the image to refer women “of a certain age” (or older), although when used by themselves about themselves, it has an air of self-deprecating resignation. For example, a middle-aged woman who leaves the dance floor short of breath after a vigorous jitterbug may wipe her brow, reach for a cold drink, and exclaim, “The old gray mare ain't what she used to be.”
See also: gray, mare, old
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Suzanna' and 'America the Beautiful'), "Yodel Lady Who", "My Aunt Came Back", "I Love My Rooster", "Froggy Went A Courtin'", "Shake Your Sillies Out", "The Cat Came Back", "Shoo Fly", "Knees Up Mother Brown", "Cotton Eye Joe", "Patriotic Medley" (Grand Old Flag & Yankee Doodle Dandy), "Country Medley" (Old Gray Mare, Home on the Range, Polly Wolly Doodle, Paw Paw Patch), "Inch Worm" and "Happy Trails To You".
In "The Old Gray Mare AC-T Is Still Kicking," local columnist Gina Phillips writes about the Asheville Citizen-Times in its 15 August 2009 edition.
This trick keeps us from using commas with such structures as "naive young man" or "old gray mare"
When a child sets out to learn to play piano, he is thrilled when he masters a simple tune like "The Old Gray Mare." For an adult, mastering "The Old Gray Mare" brings less of a sense of accomplishment than a reminder of how far we have to go.
Like the old gray mare, the .410-bore shotshell ain't what it used to be.
The first songs-"Daisy," "Dixie," and "Danny Boy,"--get little response, but "The Old Gray Mare" gets a big laugh.