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.
Not hidden away shamefully as dusty stock from the bad old days but cheerfully displayed like cuddly toys.
RESPECTIVELY I thought that Mrs H Swain's letter was rather odd (Birmingham Mail Talkback, March 4) that anyone would want to put the clock back to the bad old days. May I remind her that the days were long and hard with very little reward, where if your face did not fit then your employment was terminated forthwith with no redress.
I'm old enough to remember the bad old days of British Rail.
The incident enraged former Arsenal star and pundit Ian Wright (above) who tweeted: "The bad old days are back!
But Moreno was most astonished at stories of how cheating was carried out in the bad old days. He'd heard of the chalk used to record each vote being cut in the middle of the head so that it would double every vote for selected candidates.
Anglisano spoke of the bad old days of analog equipment.
"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 which has told us time and again that they do not aid social mobility" - 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.
It was a return to the bad old days of the sport when tennis superbrats turned the air blue with a volley of expletives and bad sportsmanship.
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.
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.
EASTENDERS (7.30pm 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).
One recent press release was like a throwback to the bad old days: an out-of-focus, grimy photo of a grimy man in blue overalls in a dirty workshop, standing glumly at a machine.