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23 skidoo

To clear out or get away in haste before getting into or causing trouble, referring either to oneself or to another. "23" may refer to the Flatirons Building in New York City (located on 23rd Street), around which great winds tend to blow. It may also derive from an older use meaning to tell someone to clear out of one's way. Primarily heard in US. It looks like there's trouble brewing here. I'd better 23 skidoo! Quit loitering around here. 23 skidoo!
See also: 23, skidoo

23 Skidoo Street

A fictitious location referring to a place away from possible or looming trouble, taken from the phrase "23 skidoo." Primarily heard in US. Those guys ahead look rough, let's head over to 23 Skidoo Street.
See also: 23, Skidoo, street

free, white, and twenty-one

dated Having the legal freedom to make one's own decisions in life, without being beholden to the influence of anyone else. The phrase arose from the time in the US when slavery was still prominent, and being white and twenty-one (the age of majority) meant that one was a free, and thus "full," citizen. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. Hell, I don't need your approval, or anyone else's, for that matter. I'm free, white, and twenty-one, so I'll do as I please!
See also: and

hindsight is (always) 20/20

It is easier to clearly reevaluate past actions or decisions than when they are being made or done; things are clearer or more obvious when they are reflected upon. A reference to the visual acuity of normal eyesight (20/20 vision). I can see now that having my brother as my legal counsel was unwise, but I guess hindsight is always 20/20. A: "I can't believe I was ever interested in such a self-absorbed jerk." B: "Don't blame yourself. Hindsight is 20/20, after all."
See also: 20, hindsight

talk twenty to the dozen

To talk (to someone) very rapidly, hurriedly, and/or energetically. My aunt can get talking twenty to the dozen if you get her on a topic she's passionate about.
See also: dozen, talk, twenty

twenty winks

A very brief nap or a short sleep. When you have a baby for the first time, you are suddenly forced to learn how to operate on only twenty winks at a time. I'm going to go grab a quick twenty winks before everyone starts arriving for the dinner party.
See also: twenty, wink

the top five/ten/etc.

The top (five, ten, twenty, etc.) best-selling or highest-ranked things in a list. The film debuted at number 1 in the box office, but it fell out of the top ten by the following week. It has constantly been ranked in the top five best games for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
See also: five, ten, top


1. adjective Of an unspecified age in one's twenties. He looks like he's in his 40s, but he's really just twenty-something.
2. noun A person who is in their twenties. Usually used in the plural. It's clear this place is geared more for twenty-somethings, judging by the loud music.

twenty-four seven

All day, every day. Short for "twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week." Another hyphen can be used between "four" and "seven" if used as a modifier before a noun. Often written as 24/7. You know you can call me twenty-four seven if you ever need anything, OK? It's the only shop in the entire city that's open 24/7. We offer twenty-four-seven customer support for anyone whose credit card is lost, stolen, or locked.
See also: seven


A term referring to the use of marijuana. It can also refer specifically to such use on the date April 20 (4/20) or the time 4:20. The origin of the term is debated. Whoa, look at all that smoke—there's some 420 action going on in here! Anybody got some weed so we can celebrate 4/20 the right way?

twenty-twenty hindsight

The ability to determine how some mistake or failure in the past could have been avoided. Often used ironically or sarcastically; sometimes stylized as "20/20 hindsight." I can see now that having my brother as my legal counsel was unwise, but I guess twenty-twenty hindsight isn't much use right now. A: "I can't believe I was ever interested in such a self-absorbed jerk." B: "Don't beat yourself about it. We all have 20/20 hindsight."
See also: hindsight

20/20 hindsight

Knowledge of what one should have done, because it is easier to clearly reevaluate past actions or decisions than when they are being made or done. A reference to the visual acuity of normal eyesight (20/20 vision). With 20/20 hindsight, I can see now that having my brother as my legal counsel was unwise. A: "I can't believe I was ever interested in such a self-absorbed jerk." B: "Don't blame yourself. We all have 20/20 hindsight."
See also: 20, hindsight

twenty-twenty hindsight

Knowledge after the fact, as in With twenty-twenty hindsight, I wouldn't have bought these tickets. This idiom uses twenty-twenty in the optometrist's sense, that is, "indicating normal vision," and hindsight in the sense of "looking back" or "reconsidering." [First half of 1900s]
See also: hindsight

twenty-four seven

all the time; twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
The phrase, which originated in the US, is often written 24/7 .
See also: seven

the ˌtop ˈten, ˈtwenty, etc.

the ten, twenty, etc. best-selling pop records each week: The song didn’t even make (= get into) the top twenty.
See also: top

twenty-four, seven

and 24-7
mod. all the time, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. He’s always at home, 24-7!
See also: seven

twenty-twenty hindsight

and 20/20 hindsight
n. an ability to figure out what one should have done after it is too late to do it. Everybody has twenty-twenty hindsight!
See also: hindsight

20/20 hindsight

See also: 20, hindsight


Also 24/7. Indication that something—a store, a service, a person—is available at all times (twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week). Used since the second half of the 1900s, at first for shops that never close, the term was soon applied in numerous other contexts. For example, “I’m not looking to get a knife in my chest. I’ve got twenty-four/seven protection on me” (David Baldacci, Hour Game, 2004). A theater review by Ed Siegel in the Boston Globe (Feb. 1, 2005) also had it: “The younger generation. What are we to do with them, with their ‘whatever’ attitude, their irony, and their 24/7 access to sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, and the Internet?” See also whatever.
See also: seven

twenty-twenty hindsight, with

With complete after-the-fact knowledge. This expression, usually preceding a statement like “I would have done or said such-and-such,” uses the optometrist’s term for perfectly normal vision. The idea that hindsight, with its superior knowledge, is better than foresight has been stated since at least the nineteenth century. “If a man had half as much foresight as he had hindsight, he’d be a lot better off,” wrote Robert J. Burdette (Hawk-eyes, 1879). The Hollywood screenwriter Billy Wilder is quoted as having said, “Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.”
References in periodicals archive ?
It is in my twenties that I have learned to embrace myself crying at 3 a.m., when memories from the past loom large.
It is in my twenties that I have taught myself to see the goodness in the people that I encounter, even the ones who seem to have horns instead of halos.
In this discussion Sato turns to magazine articles written during the last half of the twenties and 1930 and 1931 as she describes the exodus from the countryside to the city, and the new desire to succeed as workers, to contribute to one's financial well being, and to entertain alternative possibilities concerning love and marriage.
In the terms of evolutionary psychology, men in their late twenties faced increasing competition for mates and, in fact, dimming prospects for marriage.
By the early twenties, he was one of the richest and most powerful men in the country, but he had also suffered public humiliation as a result of his libel suit against the Chicago Tribune.
Studies based on other sources and other cities indicate that most men married in their late twenties and that the percentage of men who remained unmarried increased in the course of the eighteenth century.
Louis's choreography was sometimes overwhelmed by the costumes, but, at its best, used gesture to comment on how art of the twenties radically played with the image of the human body in a changing world.